The vast majority of undergraduate students live off-campus. In this brief, we estimate typical living costs for seven subgroups of students based on dependency status, attendance pattern, and accommodation type (with or without parents) using the 2011–12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS). Based on these results, we assess how well the current requirements for living-costs allocation appear to support different types of off-campus students. We show that some of the local variation in institution-reported living costs may be due to the type of student served by a given institution, but much of this variation is still unexplained.
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