But your campus could close during the school year due to COVID-19. If this happens, as it did at many colleges this past spring, your school will likely reimburse a pro-rata amount for non-tuition fees, such as room, board, and facility fees.

Several schools that plan to open in person are also switching to distance education after the Thanksgiving break. Some schools also have staggered move-in dates. These factors could affect the total cost of room and board you pay this semester.

For example, at Penn State University, students will begin the fall semester in person, but will switch to distance learning in late November. To reflect this change, the cost of a standard double room was lowered from $ 607 – from $ 3,427 to $ 2,820 – and the mid-level meal plan was lowered from $ 2,449 to $ 2,193.

Live off campus alone or with roommates

By living off campus, you will not have accommodation and food taken into consideration, but you will have additional expenses like rent, groceries, and utilities. You can use financial aid to pay these bills.

Colleges often use regional data and student surveys to get estimates of rents and off-campus utilities, and often those amounts aren’t much different from campus life, says Jill Desjean, policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid. However, your school will still consider living off campus to be cheaper than living on campus.