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Twelve-Month Academic Year 2014-15

2014-15 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 1.017 percent for 2012, and an estimated adjustment of 1.015 percent for 2013.

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 $ 23,010 $ 15,420
Northeast:
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA–NH 24,391 16,345
New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–PA 25,311 16,962
Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD 24,391 16,345
Pittsburgh, PA 23,010 15,420
North Central:
Chicago–Naperville–Joliet, IL–IN–WI 23,930 16,037
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH 23,010 15,420
Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI 23,010 15,420
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI 23,240 15,574
St. Louis, MO–IL 23,010 15,420
South:
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA 23,700 15,883
Baltimore–Towson, MD 25,081 16,808
Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX 23,240 15,574
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX 23,470 15,728
Miami–Ft. Lauderdale–Miami Beach, FL 23,930 16,037
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV 26,462 17,773
West:
Anchorage, AK 25,081 16,808
Denver–Aurora, CO 23,010 15,420
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA 25,081 16,808
Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ 23,470 15,728
Portland–Vancouver–Beaverton, OR–WA 24,161 16,191
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA 25,541 17,116
San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA 27,382 18,350
Seattle–Tacoma, WA 24,851 16,654
Honolulu, HI 24,851 16,654

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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