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Homepage Home > Higher Ed Services > Financial Aid > Living Expense Budget 2015-16 > Nine-Month Academic Year 2015-16

Nine-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 nine-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 9-Month  BudgetLow 9-Month Budget
United States $ 17,410 $ 11,660
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA–NH 18,281 12,243
New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–PA 19,151 12,826
Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD 18,281 12,243
Pittsburgh, PA 17,410 11,660
North Central:
Chicago–Naperville–Joliet, IL–IN–WI 18,106 12,126
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH 17,410 11,660
Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI 17,410 11,660
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI 17,410 11,660
St. Louis, MO–IL 17,410 11,660
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA 17,932 12,010
Baltimore–Towson, MD 18,803 12,593
Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX 17,758 11,893
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX 17,758 11,893
Miami–Ft. Lauderdale–Miami Beach, FL 17,758 11,893
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV 20,196 13,526
Anchorage, AK 18,977 12,709
Denver–Aurora, CO 17,758 11,893
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA 18,803 12,593
Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ 17,758 11,893
Portland–Vancouver–Beaverton, OR–WA 18,455 12,360
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA 19,325 12,943
San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA 20,544 13,759
Seattle–Tacoma, WA 18,803 12,593
Honolulu, HI 18,629 12,476

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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