At some universities, living in the college dorms is not only part of the university experience, but it’s also mandatory to ensure students acclimate to college life. Second only to tuition, room and board fees can exceed $20,000, as is the case at The New York School of Interior Design where annual housing and living expenses are estimated at $21,000 annually. Fortunately, room and board at most colleges is much more affordable.
According to Edmit data, the average cost of room and board in the 2017-2018 year was $10,369. At many schools, room and board is even less expensive. Schools in the Plains (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) and Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia) regions of the United States have the most affordable room and board, with the exception of Oklahoma, which is located in the Southwest region.
If you’re hoping to save on the second highest college expense, we’ve gathered a list of states with the most affordable room and board fees.
10 States with the Least Expensive Room and Board
#10 Kentucky - $8,410 average room and board
Despite having the highest room and board fees on this list, the average room and board fees in Kentucky are about $2,000 cheaper than the national average for public and private schools.
#9 Nebraska - $8,370 average room and board
#8 Alabama - $8,228 average room and board
#7 Montana - $8,141 average room and board
#6 Utah - $8,004 average room and board
The now-closed Art Institute of Salt Lake City had the most expensive dorms in the state of Utah. However, the most sought after dorms in Utah are at Brigham Young University, based on student reviews and data according to this poll.
#5 Alaska - $7,900 average room and board
#4 Mississippi - $7,735 average room and board
Mississippi is home to some of the most affordable colleges in the nation. In addition to having low room and board fees, Mississippi is home of Rust College, which offers the most affordable tuition rates in the state and was number five on our list of colleges with the least expensive room and board.
#3 South Dakota - $7,668 average room and board
#2 North Dakota - $7,484 average room and board
#1 Oklahoma - $7,436 average room and board
In our list of colleges with the least expensive room and board, Oklahoma was the most represented state, with three colleges on that list including Oklahoma Panhandle State University. As one of the most affordable states to live in, it’s no surprise that Oklahoma is the state with the least expensive room and board fees.
Note: State room and board averages are from the 2017-2018 academic year