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Twelve-Month Academic Year 2015-16

2015-16 low and moderate living expense budgets

This table shows living expense costs by region and metropolitan area over a 12-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 1.015 percent for 2013, and an estimated adjustment of 1.020 percent for 2014.

The budgets are developed based on data from the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) and the Indexes of Comparative Costs, both produced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Budget regions correspond to the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The CES sample changes about every 10 years, which changes the MSAs for which indexes can be developed. There were 28 MSAs for the period from 1996 to 2004, but that number dropped to 24 for 2005. Therefore, the regional tables of the living expense budget now reflect only 24 MSAs. Also, since a factor could not be established for every region of the country, no region is adjusted by a value of less than 1.0.

 Moderate 12-Month BudgetLow 12-Month Budget
United States $ 23,210 $ 15,550
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA–NH 24,371 16,328
New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–PA 25,531 17,105
Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD 24,371 16,328
Pittsburgh, PA 23,210 15,550
North Central:
Chicago–Naperville–Joliet, IL–IN–WI 24,138 16,172
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH 23,210 15,550
Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI 23,210 15,550
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI 23,210 15,550
St. Louis, MO–IL 23,210 15,550
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA 23,906 16,017
Baltimore–Towson, MD 25,067 16,794
Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX 23,674 15,861
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX 23,674 15,861
Miami–Ft. Lauderdale–Miami Beach, FL 23,674 15,861
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV 26,924 18,038
Anchorage, AK 25,299 16,950
Denver–Aurora, CO 23,674 15,861
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA 25,067 16,794
Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ 23,674 15,861
Portland–Vancouver–Beaverton, OR–WA 24,603 16,483
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA 25,763 17,261
San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA 27,388 18,349
Seattle–Tacoma, WA 25,067 16,794
Honolulu, HI 24,835 16,639

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.

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