Cost of Living
Money is tight nowadays, but it is at this time in my life that I need it more than ever. College is just around the corner and tuition alone is more than I want to spend. Of course I will be paying more than just tuition, and the cost of living in that area will determine how much I will spend.
I am applying to schools in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Manhattan, and Salt Lake City. To determine the cost of living in each area, I used the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. A CPI is "measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services."(Consumer Price Index, Bureau of Labor Statistics) The CPI measures what consumers pay for health care, food, transportation, recreation, etc. The CPI is the closet I could find to a cost-of-living index, but it is very similar.
In San Francisco, the CPI shows a 122% increase in prices since 1984. Philly shows a 123% increase and New York City has a 134% increase. There was not a CPI for Salt Lake City, so instead I looked at that of a city similar to it-Denver. They have had a 109$ increase since 1984.
These increases show an approximate average of prices I can expect to pay while living and attending college in these cities. But with the current state of the economy, who knows how these CPIs will be affected!