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Cost of Living: Most and Least Expensive College Town

Cost of living is directly proportional to the location where a college or university is located. Many students consider cost of living as one of the major factors when selecting a U.S. school.

Forbes magazine recently published an article based on the research done by Coldwell Banker Real Estate for home prices near college towns / campuses.

Using the value of a 4 bedroom apartment at various cities as basis, the least and most expensive college towns in the U.S. were calculated.

We have published the article, cost of living at University of Southern California. The findings below demonstrate why USC is listed under the "Most Expensive Colleges" category below.

Least to Most Expensive College Towns

Akron, Ohio
Status: Least Expensive
School: University of Akron
2009 Avg. Price: $121,885

Muncie, Ind.
Status: Least Expensive
School: Ball State University
2009 Avg. Price: $144,996

Ann Arbor, Mich.
Status: Least Expensive
School: University of Michigan
2009 Avg. Price: $148,000

Ypsilanti, Mich.
School: Eastern Michigan University

Tulsa, Okla.
School: University of Tulsa

Denton, Texas
Town, State: School: University of North Texas

Houston, Texas
School: University of Houston, Rice University

Bloomington, Ind.
School: Indiana University

Kent, Ohio
School: Kent State University

Seattle, Wash.
Status: Most Expensive
School: University of Washington
2009 Avg. Price: $568,317

Boulder, Colo.
Status: Most Expensive
School: University of Colorado
2009 Avg. Price: $622,000

San Jose, Calif.
Status: Most Expensive
School: San Jose State University
2009 Avg. Price: $808,926

Berkeley, Calif.
School: University of California, Berkeley
2009 Avg. Price: $1,299,750

Boston/Chestnut Hill, Mass.
School: Boston College
2009 Avg. Price: $1,337,578

Los Angeles, Calif.
School: University of Southern California, University of California, LA
2009 Avg. Price: $1,347,125

Palo Alto, Calif.
School: Stanford University
2009 Avg. Price: $1,489,726

Source of the above article: Forbes.

Based on the above information, renting a 4-bedroom apartment in the different college towns across the U.S. ranges from $121,885 to $1,489,726.

Another thing, based on the cost of the apartment, rental cost will also be expensive. When rental costs go up, cost of living for the students also goes up.

If your monthly expense is $700, at least $350 will be used for apartment rent and the rest will be used for other expenses.

If you have a choice between two similar universities, carefully compare the cost of living between the two before making the final decision.

Related: Cost of Living of Indian Students in California


  1. krunal shimpi on April 18, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    what is the difference betn fees and tution?

  2. Ines on February 9, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Since this article focuses on cost. I suggest to check out York College of Pennsylvania in York, PA. It is a very affordable town and the institution keeps one of the lowest tuitions for private schools in Pennsylvania. Tuition and fees =$15,140 for one academic year. Room and board estimate is $8,500 per year. The school offers about 50 undergraduate majors. It is about 2 hours from Philly and Washington DC, and 4 hours from New York and Pittsburgh.
    This is where I attended as an International student from Ecuador. Loved it here!

    • Marzie on July 28, 2010 at 4:19 AM

      Thanx for ur advice, can you also say that how is the status of getting scholarship and addmission in this universitey? I appriciate that!

  3. easwaran on November 9, 2009 at 7:46 PM


    It is a eye opening article,

    how people connect things and get an easy answer to complicated problems.hats off to your analysis

    based on the cost of 4 bed apartment





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