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2021-22 low and moderate living expense budgets

This table shows living expense costs by region and metropolitan area over a twelve-month period. Both a moderate and a low budget are provided. The budgets reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index (calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) of 2.3 percent for 2019.

The budgets are developed based on data from the most recent years’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For 2021-22, the CES microdata was queried to generate budgets for additional Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with significant population sizes. Consequently, the regional tables of the living expense budget now reflect 35 MSAs, compared to 22 in published regional data tables.

Since budgets cannot be established for every area of the country, no MSA’s budget falls below the base budget.

  Moderate 12-Month Budget Low 12-Month Budget
United States $28,720 $19,240
Northeast:
Boston–Cambridge–Newton MA–NH 32,166 21,549
Hartford–East Hartford–Middletown CT 30,156 20,202
New York–Newark–Jersey City NY–NJ–PA 31,305 20,972
Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington PA–NJ–DE–MD 29,007 19,432
Pittsburgh PA 28,720 19,240
South:
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Alpharetta GA 29,582 19,817
Baltimore–Columbia–Towson MD 30,730 20,587
Charlotte–Concord–Gastonia NC–SC
Raleigh NC
29,582 19,817
Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington TX 30,156 20,202
Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land TX 29,294 19,625
Jacksonville FL
Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford FL
28,720 19,240
Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach FL 30,156 20,202
New Orleans–Metairie LA 28,720 19,240
Oklahoma City OK 28,720 19,240
Richmond VA
Virginia Beach–Norfolk–Newport News VA–NC
29,869 20,010
San Antonio–New Braunfels TX
Austin–Round Rock TX
28,720 19,240
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater FL 28,720 19,240
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria DC–VA–MD–WV 33,028 22,126
Midwest:
Chicago–Naperville–Elgin IL–IN–WI 29,294 19,625
Cleveland–Elyria OH
Cincinnati OH–KY–IN
Columbus OH
28,720 19,240
Detroit–Warren–Dearborn MI 28,720 19,240
Indianapolis–Carmel–Anderson IN
Louisville/Jefferson County KY–IN
28,720 19,240
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MN–WI 30,443 20,394
St. Louis MO–IL 28,720 19,240
West:
Anchorage AK 30,730 20,587
Denver–Aurora–Lakewood CO 31,305 20,972
Urban Honolulu HI 32,166 21,549
Las Vegas–Henderson–Paradise NV 29,007 19,432
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim CA 31,592 21,164
Phoenix–Mesa–Chandler AZ 29,582 19,817
Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro OR–WA 30,730 20,587
Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario CA 29,869 20,010
San Diego–Chula Vista–Carlsbad CA 32,741 21,934
San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley CA 34,177 22,896
Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue WA 31,879 21,356

Note: These budgets are provided to assist financial aid officers in developing living expense budgets for their independent, off-campus students. The budgets should not be confused with the actual boarding expenses experienced by an on-campus student.