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Lancaster, California BAH Rates, Education, & Cost of Living

Discover Lancaster BAH Rates, Housing, Education, & Cost-of-Living

Find housing, employment, cost-of-living, and BAH rates for Lancaster, 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 Lancaster area.

Lancaster is a small city located about an hour North of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County. It is situated between the following military installations:

Lancaster, CA BAH Rates



Local Colleges & Universities

The Lancaster area is home to several colleges and universities. This is a partial list.

The state of 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 information about Lancaster area schools, use the free CollegeRecon School Finder tool.

Using your GI Bill

Anyone considering using the Post 9/11 GI Bill in Lancaster 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 Lancaster

Lancaster is located in Antelope Valley and nestled west of the San Bernardino Mountains. It is a sought after place to live in for its proximity to large cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. The cost of living in Lancaster, much like the rest of Southern California, is quite high compared to the rest of the country.

BestPlaces gives Lancaster a cost of living score of 161.7 percent, which is 61.7 percent higher than the national average and 7.9 percent higher than the California average. The housing index is significantly lower than the state average, but the cost of utilities being above the state and national averages pushes the cost of living higher.


  • Overall – 161.7
  • Housing – 132.1
  • Groceries – 98.5
  • Transportation – 119.2
  • Utilities –115.8

Other categories to consider

  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Taxes

Lancaster Housing

While Lancaster is smaller than its neighbors Los Angeles and San Diego, it is still a thriving city with charming neighborhoods that have a lot to offer everyone. According to RentCafe, the average rent in Lancaster is $1,851.

Some of the top neighborhoods in the city include:

  • Quartz Hill – $2,274 median rent price
  • Palmdale – $1,823 median rent price
  • Desert View
  • El Dorado
  • Brentwood

Note that for some neighborhoods listed, median rent price data was not available.

For those looking to buy a home, the median listing price for homes in Lancaster is 490,000, according to Realtor.com. As of March 2024, the real estate market is a balanced market, meaning that the supply and demand of 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.

Primary Education

For families with school-age children, living in an area that has high quality primary schools is important as it can affect children’s educational outcomes. Even for families without children, the quality of the schools in the area can affect the value of housing prices.

The Lancaster area is home to top-rated primary schools and school districts. According to Greatschools.org some of the best primary schools include:

  • Quartz Hill Elementary School
  • Life Source International Charter School
  • Nancy Cory Elementary School
  • West Wind Elementary School
  • John And Jacquelyn Miller Elementary School

Note that there are currently no DoDEA schools in the Lancaster area, but two schools are located on Edwards AFB, which Muroc Unified School District operates. Military parents of school-aged children can learn more about the primary education landscape through Edwards Air Force Base.

Lancaster, California Employment Opportunities

Lancaster, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, is a growing desert city with a thriving economy. Due to the proximity of Edwards Air Force Base and companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin, the aviation and aerospace industry has a strong presence in the area and is a top employer.

Other industries in Lancaster include logistics, energy, healthcare, and agriculture. The City of Lancaster municipality identified the top employers beyond those in the aerospace industry as BYD Motors, Rite Aid, Sygma, and Morton Manufacturing.

As of February 2024, the unemployment rate in Lancaster was 7.4 percent.

Things to See and Do

Lancaster, California, is surrounded by the natural beauty of a desert landscape, a rich culture, and an interesting history. Some of the top things to see and do in the area include:

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.