The Price of Room and Board

Research Report

The Price of Room and Board

Understanding Trends in On-Campus Living Charges


On-campus room and board charges have risen faster than the rate of inflation, contributing to the overall increase in the cost of attending a four-year residential institution. In this study, we draw on new analyses of data on colleges and universities and previous research to assess four potential explanations for the rise in on-campus living expenses. Our results suggest that institutions may have multiple motivations to raise room and board charges. However, we find that room and board charges increase at a steadier rate than tuition and fees.

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