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Pittsburgh, PA BAH Rates, Housing, Education, & Cost of Living

Discover Pittsburgh BAH Rates, Housing, Education, & Cost of Living

BAH Rates for Pittsburgh, PA

Find housing, employment, cost-of-living, education, and BAH rates for Pittsburgh, PA. 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 Pittsburgh area.

Pittsburgh is the second most populated city in Pennsylvania and is a major metropolitan area in the Western part of the state. The metropolitan area of Pittsburgh encompasses seven countries and is nestled on the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers.

Some of the military installations in Pennsylvania include:

  • Carlisle Barracks
  • Defense Logistics Agency at Susquehanna
  • Raven Rock Mountain Complex
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • USAREC, Harrisburg Battalion
  • Naval Support Activity Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh, PA BAH Rates

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Local Colleges and Universities

The Pittsburgh area is home to several colleges and universities. Below is a partial list.


To find more Pittsburgh schools, use the free CollegeRecon School Finder tool.

Using Your GI Bill

Anyone considering using the Post 9/11 GI Bill in Pittsburgh should know the following:

  • You may be eligible for the Pittsburgh-area Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) if you are a full-time student.
    MHA is comparable to the Pittsburgh 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 (current at press time, your experience may vary)
    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 dependent, but you must still be on active duty to transfer it.
    The Yellow Ribbon Program offers financial support in specific situations where the GI Bill does not fully cover the cost of tuition at participating Pittsburgh colleges.

Cost of Living in Pittsburgh

According to Bestplaces, Pittsburgh’s Cost-of-Living index is 91.8, which means that the total cost of housing, food, and other necessities is 8.2 percent lower than the U.S. national average and 3.0 percent lower than the average for the rest of the state.

While housing is lower than the state and national average, utilities, transportation, and groceries are slightly higher than average.


  • Overall – 91.8
  • Housing – 74.9
  • Groceries – 101
  • Transportation – 105.5
  • Utilities – 102.3

Pittsburgh Housing

Understanding Pittsburgh’s housing costs and neighborhoods is important when deciding where to live. Pittsburgh is an increasingly popular place to live due to its affordable cost of living, access to employment opportunities, and dynamic, family-oriented neighborhoods. The average rent in Pittsburgh, according to RentCafe is $1,512 as of November 2023. Some of the most affordable and desirable neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area include:

Lawrenceville – $812
Shadyside – $1,123
Squirrel Hill North – $974
Stanton Heights – $883
Swisshelm Park – $794

According to Realtor.com, the average sale price of a home as of November 2023 is $250,000. Pittsburgh is currently a buyer’s market, which indicates that the supply of homes is greater than the demand for homes.

You can get a free eligibility assessment from our VA loan partner to learn more about VA Loan Program benefits.

Primary Education

Pittsburgh is home to high-quality primary schools and top-rated school districts. In Pittsburgh, the location you live can affect the quality of the public schools that are available through the School District of Pittsburgh.

For families that want an alternative to public schools, private and charter schools are an option. Top rated school districts in the Pittsburgh area include: North Allegheny School District, Mt. Lebanon School District, Upper St. Clair School District, and Fox Chapel School District.

The top primary schools according to GreatSchools include:

  • Marzolf Primary School
    Fred L. Aiken Elementary School
    Howe Elementary School
    Ingomar Elementary School
    McKnight Elementary School

Employment Opportunities in Pittsburgh

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh according to BestPlaces is 7.1%, which is slightly higher than the national average. Despite this, job growth in Pittsburgh has been positive and jobs have increased by 0.2% in the past year. This is evidenced through the robust job market and access to employment opportunities across a diverse set of sectors. Pittsburgh is home to many top-rated companies and is the location for the headquarters of Kraft Heinz Company.

Pittsburgh is traditionally known as the “Steel City” due to its important center of the steel industry in the industrial age. While steel is still an important part of Pittsburgh’s economy, other key industries have emerged, particularly in the tech sector.

Job seekers can find employment in the following industries:

  • Energy
  • Life Sciences & Healthcare
  • Manufacturing & Distribution
  • Robotics & AI
  • Cybersecurity
  • Climate Tech & Decarbonization

>> To find organizations seeking to recruit and place military, veterans, and spouses, please visit CareerRecon.

Things To See and Do in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a dynamic city with a rich industrial and mining history that adds to the city’s charm. It is a city full of arts and culture, craft breweries, and fun things to do for people of all ages.

  • Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mount Washington to get a bird’s eye view of the Pittsburgh skyline that is famously abundant with bridges.
  • Stop and smell the roses at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. This horticulture hub of Pittsburgh has family friendly activities, beautiful gardens, and a spectacular collection of green rooms.
  • Partake in the quintessential American pastime by catching a baseball game at PNC Park.
  • Have a day of educational fun for the whole family at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Center.
  • Take an afternoon to soak in some mid-century pop art heritage at The Andy Warhol Museum. This museum is the largest in North America that is dedicated to a single artist and is home to an extensive permanent collection of the iconic Pittsburgh native, Andy Warhol.
  • Visit the Strip District – this neighborhood was a warehouse area that has become one of Pittsburgh’s coolest places to hang out. It offers great restaurants, boutique shops, craft breweries, and markets to explore.

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.