Living Expenses

Living Expenses

In order to truly understand how much it may cost for you to attend Columbia University School of General Studies, it is necessary for you to understand how much it costs each month to support you and any dependents you may have. Estimates of living expenses are available on the Student Financial Services website.


Whether a student lives in University housing or on their own, the cost of owning a home or renting an apartment/house is determined by many factors, including the number of bedrooms and which town, city, or neighborhood it's located in. Students should also consider whether they are willing to share their living space. Students who are interested in educating themselves about the New York City metropolitan area housing market in order to determine realistic housing expenses may start by consulting the Housing page.

The Cost of Utilities

Utilities costs consist of electricity, gas, oil, water, phone, cable, and/or internet service and vary depending upon the level of service required and which company provides those services.

The Cost of Food/Groceries

In order for students to determine how much they may expect to spend on food each month, they should consider how much they will be eating at restaurants versus cooking at home. Restaurants and groceries in New York City tend to be expensive. To get a realistic idea of grocery costs, students may want to visit FreshDirect. For an estimate of how much restaurants around the University may cost, visit MenuPages.