What is Room & Board? Do I really need it?

Room & Board

I am now going to explain the second budget item that is required to be created by a financial aid office to be added to the total Cost of Attendance.

As a reminder from a prior post, a school has to create a Cost of Attendance to determine what it would cost to go to college for one year.  They are required by law to do this each year.

Each school may  have a different Cost of Attendance based on where the school is located, your state of residency,  school ownership (public or private)  and many other factors.

Schools must create a Cost of Attendance with the following five budget items:



Room & Board



Room references where you will be living while attending college (dormitory, off-campus housing , on-campus housing, grandmothers house, etc.) while Board includes the necessary cost of what and where you will eat each day (McDonalds cafeteria, local groceries, mom or grandmother homemade cooking).

At most colleges, there are potentially 3 categories of Room & Board:

Off-Campus – This amount for this budget item is usually determined by identifying the average total cost of renting an apartment within proximity of the college you are attending.

On-Campus –  This amount for this budget item is determined from real cost of renting a dormitory, townhouse apartment, room of the college you are attending. This amount can vary depending on the meal plan you select and type of room you opt to live in while attending college.

Living with Parents – This amount for this budget item is assessed based on what the college concludes it would cost for you to live with a family member (parents) who will provide most of your living quarter needs. This amount is much less than living on or off campus. If you have this option to select, it is highly recommended in order to save money and reduce your cost.

It is important that you tell your financial aid office your specific room and board requirements. This will ensure you get the correct Cost of Attendance and corresponding financial aid.

$ Savings and Debt Reduction Tip: If you are attending a college and can live with your parents during college, you can save thousands of dollars.

To learn more about how to navigate the college financing process, you can read other blog postings or purchase the books to help you succeed in your educational pursuits.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.