Top 15 Private Colleges with the Most Expensive Off-Campus Room & Board

It won’t come as a surprise that the cost of attending college continues to increase each year. According to a report from the College Board, between the 2011-2012 and the 2016-2017 academic years, tuition and fees increased by 13% for private, 4-year universities. On average, students attending these universities are paying $45,365 annually in tuition and fees plus room and board. And if you are an out-of-state student and don’t meet the state’s residency requirements, those rates can skyrocket even more.

For today’s generation, these rapid increases in tuition result in the vast majority of students needing to rely on financial assistance to cover the costs of school. In an attempt to save money, many students opt to live off campus to avoid paying for room and board. However, just as with tuition and fees, the cost of living in many areas is rising as well, making it not much cheaper than living on-campus.

We’ve put together a list of the top 15 colleges that have the highest off-campus room & board costs using data collected from StartClass. First, we started by looking at the private, 4-year universities with the highest tuition rates. Next, we took a look at which of those schools had the most expensive off-campus room and board costs.

Many of these universities on our list are located within states well known for high costs of living, including New York, California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

most expensive private college housing

How To Get Financial Assistance for Off-Campus Housing

While choosing to live off-campus may reduce the amount you pay in tuition, it doesn’t offset the total cost of attending college necessarily. However, there are many tools available to college students that can help cover the expenses of living off-campus.

For example, most states offer some version of a 529 plan. These are essentially “qualified tuition plans” that can be used to cover college expenses, including room and board expenses. Even better? Funds provided through 529 plans are not subject to tax.

Student loans are another way to help cover these costs. This holds true for federal loans and most private loans. The FAFSA and many private loan applications will ask you specifically if you plan on living off-campus. It is imperative that you complete this section as extra funds can be rewarded to you to cover those cost of living expenses. However, be sure to stop by your financial aid office and discuss with an advisor to see if your student loans can be adjusted to offset the costs of off-campus living.

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