Room and board costs make up a large portion of a student’s total college bill, second only to tuition. You can use a 529 plan to pay for room and board, but only if certain requirements are met.
Room and board includes the cost of housing and the cost of a meal plan. Colleges typically have a room and board budgets for students who live on campus in college owned or operated housing, for students who live off-campus in an apartment and for students who live off campus with their parents or other relatives. Some colleges have a fourth category that includes students who live on a military base or who receive the basic allowance for housing (BAH), which includes room and covers board only.