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Lake Tahoe, CA BAH Rates, Cost of Living, Education

Discover Lake Tahoe BAH Rates, Housing, Education, & Cost-of-Living

Find housing, employment, cost-of-living, and BAH rates for Lake Tahoe, CA. Listed below are BAH Rates, college and universities, cost-of-living information, school resources for children of military families, and things to see and do in the Lake Tahoe area.

Some of the military installations that are proximal to Lake Tahoe include:

Lake Tahoe BAH Rates


Lake Tahoe Colleges & Universities

The Lake Tahoe area is home to several colleges and universities. Due to the lakes’ location in both states, Lake Tahoe straddles California and Nevada, so some universities in the area may be located in Nevada.


California offers a College Fee Waiver for Veteran Depends benefit program that waives tuition and fees for public colleges and universities throughout the state. Discover more information about the multiple plans offered under this program.

To find more Lake Tahoe area schools, use the free CollegeRecon School Finder tool.

Using your GI Bill in Lake Tahoe

Anyone considering using the Post 9/11 GI Bill in Lake Tahoe, you should know the following:

  • You may be eligible for Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) if you are a full-time student.
  • MHA is comparable to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.
  • MHA is calculated based on the zip code of where you physically attend most of your classes.
  • Those attending only online classes receive a set MHA of approximately $1,054 (in 2023)
  • Up to $1,000 is available each year for books and supplies.
  • The Post 9/11 GI Bill can be transferred to a spouse or dependents but you must still be on active duty to transfer.
  • The Yellow Ribbon Program offers financial support in specific situations where the GI Bill does not fully cover the cost of tuition at participating colleges

Cost of Living in Lake Tahoe

The area of Lake Tahoe on the California side of the border is referred to as South Lake Tahoe, and it is located approximately 90 miles from San Francisco. According to BestPlaces, Lake Tahoe has a cost of living score of 143.7 percent, which is 43.7 percent higher than the US average and 4.1 percent lower than the state average.


  • Overall – 143.7
  • Housing – 211.7
  • Groceries – 106.2
  • Transportation – 102.6
  • Utilities – 110.9

Other categories to consider

  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Taxes

South Lake Tahoe Housing

South Lake Tahoe is a well-known, scenic travel destination, but it is also an area that many call home. According to RentCafe, the average rent in South Lake Tahoe is $1,875 and the average apartment size is 718 square feet.

Some of the top communities to live in South Lake Tahoe include:

  • AI Tahoe
  • Tahoma
  • Truckee
  • Alpine Meadows
  • Kings Beach

According to Realtor.com, the average sale price of a home in Lake Tahoe as of April 2024 is approximately $675,000. The city is currently rated as a balanced market, which indicates that the supply and demand for homes are about the same.

>>To learn more about VA Loan Program benefits, you can get a free eligibility assessment from our VA loan partner. <<

Employment Opportunities

According to a report by the Tahoe Prosperity Center, the following sectors contribute to 95 percent of the economic output of the Tahoe Baskin:

  • Visitor Services
  • Environmental Innovation
  • Health and Wellness

The Lake Tahoe area is visited by about 15 million people per year, making tourism an essential element to the local economy. Major employers include resorts, hotels, and tour operators. Additionally, environmental innovation is an essential employment sector due to the environmental protections and green building surrounding Lake Tahoe.

Things to Do

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and has the largest concentration of alpine ski resorts in North America. The Lake Tahoe area experiences all four seasons and is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

Top things to do in Lake Tahoe include:

  • Spending a day at the Emerald Bay State park to experience the iconic beauty of Lake Tahoe’s natural landscape.
  • Taking a hike on the Eagle Falls Trail to see stunning views of Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, the Sierra high country, and waterfalls.
  • Taking in the scenery of Lake Tahoe from above in a hot air balloon. This experience is unique because it launches from and lands in the water
  • Hitting some of the best ski slopes in the nation such as Palisades Tahoe, Northstar California Resort, and the Sugar Bowl Resort.
  • Go fishing, swimming, and get in touch with local wildlife at the Sugar Pine Point State Park.

About the author

Sarah Tucci

Sarah is a Philadelphia-based writer. She comes to CollegeRecon with an interdisciplinary background in international relations and cultural heritage with an interest in understanding the intersection of armed conflict and cultural heritage, particularly in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. When not writing for CollegeRecon, Sarah enjoys traveling, watching documentaries, and hanging out with her beloved Pitbull, Brutus.