Chico State says off-campus housing prices decreased for 2020/2021 school year


Kimberly Morales

Off-campus student costs decreased by roughly $3000 a year. Photo taken Sept. 2, 2020

Chico State’s estimated cost of attendance decreased by roughly $3,000 for the 2020-2021 school year, based in part, on responses from Chico State students in a statewide survey. 

Off-campus student costs decreased from $25,788 to $22,924 a year. A decline in off-campus room and board prices led to the overall decrease — even as statewide off-campus room and board prices increased. 

“Cost of living in Chico is the only factor used in determining the average off-campus room and board cost component,” said Kentiner David, associate director for Chico State’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. “The results from the Chancellor’s Office cost of attendance survey is one way to get at these numbers.”

The survey was conducted by the California Student Aid Commission, which collects student expense data from all sectors of higher education in California. 

The CSU Chancellor’s Office analyzes the survey data and provides the 23 campuses with data specific to their university, including student responses.  

“The numbers published by CSAC are a statewide average across all higher education segments, which does provide a benchmark of sorts,” said Hazel Kelly, public affairs manager for the CSU Chancellor’s Office. “However, we feel it more accurate and representative to use the data associated with each campus based on actual student responses.” 

After receiving this data, Chico State’s Financial Aid Office then develops the final cost of attendance for the school. 

The statewide report estimated that housing prices have increased across the state, but for Chico, student responses indicated the opposite. David noted that the average housing price among respondents was $11,314 per 10 months, or $1,131 per month.

“Chico State’s estimate of $1,131 per month is more than sufficient to pay for room and board in the Chico housing market,” David said. 

Chico State’s cost of attendance is calculated using the following variables:

  • Books and supplies 
  • Room and board
  • Transportation 
  • Tuition and fees
  • Personal Expenses 

Transportation and supplies also decreased for 2020-2021, while tuition/fees and personal expenses increased slightly. 

Joel Moret can be reached at [email protected] or @JoelMTheOrion on Twitter