Room & Board Budgets

A student’s housing status may impact the room & board budget used to determine their financial aid eligibility. Below are the different room & board budgets for 2020-21 academic year by semester.

On Campus Off Campus

At Home

Room $5,450 up to $7,811* $3,815
Board (meals) $3,815 included in figure above included in figure above
Total Per Semester $9,265 up to $7,811* $3,815

*The off-campus room & board budget for fall 2020 will vary based on the state where the student plans to rent. The maximum room & board budget for the semester is $7,811.

Fall 2020

For fall 2020, all students will have an at home room & board budget. This budget considers the family’s increased food and utility expenses for having the student at home.

Students who do not have housing options for the fall, or who will be in a situation that makes remote learning extremely difficult should email to initiate a process to have their circumstances reviewed by Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Treasurer’s Office and other partners.

Students who do have housing options and decide to live off campus will receive aid based on the at home budget.

Costs & Savings

In general, students who live at home will see a reduction in their Pitzer Scholarship due to the decreased room and board budget.

However, most will also see a savings in overall costs when compared to living on campus because there are no room & board charges when living at home.

Need help estimating costs? Download our Student Cost Worksheet (excel) to help with your bill estimates.

Renting Off-Campus

Students who plan to live off-campus for the spring semester or are approved to have an off-campus budget for fall 2020 should note the following:

We highly encourage all students who rent off-campus to consider all costs (not just rent & food) when budgeting. In addition, students should consider that the room & board budgets used for financial aid are meant to cover costs during the 9 months of the academic year. Costs for winter break and summer are not included and students should plan for those extra costs.

In general, students who intend to rent housing off-campus should consider whether the total off-campus room & board budget for the semester is enough to pay for rent, food, utilities and internet for one academic term (4.5 months) or half a calendar year (6 months), if required to sign a one-year lease. If yes, then it’s likely that living off-campus could be as cost-effective as living on campus. If no, then living off-campus may be costlier.


Students who may be eligible for a refund should note the following:

  1. All funds are paid from Financial Aid to Student Accounts after all financial aid documents have been received. Students missing documents may see none of their aid or only part of their aid paid, depending on the missing document.
  2. Students with a credit balance may request a refund by completing a refund request form with Student Accounts.
  3. Student Accounts will process refund requests after the 10th day of the semester after enrollment is ‘locked’.
  4. Please allow up to a week to receive your refund.

This means that students who anticipate a refund to assist with off-campus housing costs should submit all requested documents to Financial Aid as soon as possible. Documents must be received no later than the first day of classes (August 24) to ensure refunds are available for request beginning the second week of September.