Cost of living in NYC for a student: Dorm or apartment?

There comes a time for all future freshmen in college to debate the most ominous question of them all. Should I live in a dorm or an apartment? This is the time of calculating cents and counting zeros of the cost of living in NYC for a student. It is the time of weighting each of your suitcases on multiple occasions. Now is the time of planning how to survive without your mother’s cooking. It is the time of completely losing your cool about moving to New York. It is time to take the wise words of Douglas Adams as your mantra: Don’t panic. Also, we promise, despite the motto, this will be easier than being a hitchhiker in the galaxy. So, let’s talk about the cost of living in NYC for a student…

First and foremost, understand the term ‘cost of living in NYC for a student’

The cost of living in NYC for a student is influenced by a lot of things - plan accordingly!
There are many factors to consider which will influence the cost of living in NYC for a student.

New York City has been topping the charts for the highest cost of living for a long time. It is well-known that it isn’t only rent which is expensive here. Everything, from food to your everyday expendable items will definitely become less cheap. So, here are some things which will influence your cost of living in the Big Apple as a student:

1. Housing
2. Food
3. Necessities
4. Lifestyle
5. Transport

Of course, we understand that the move itself will also be expensive. So, we’d suggest reading about affordable movers in NYC first. There are a number of ways to avoid unnecessary costs if you’re prepared for the most common mistakes which people make while relocating to the Big Apple. So, it’s time to think about the way you can save some money on the first topic on our list: housing.

Having a roommate will impact your expenses in NYC as a student

While it may seem similar, living in with a roomie in an apartment and at the dorm is completely different. First of all, in a dorm, there is no choice. You will have an assigned roommate who will share your room and your bathroom. Sometimes, there will be more than one, too. The cost of living as a student in New York City dorms with a roommate? Well, it won’t impact your everyday lifestyle too much. That is, if you don’t get lured in by vivacious outings a lot.

A roommate can help split the rent of the apartment, which is very helpful in an expensive city like NYC!
Having a roommate won’t only help with our rent, but it will lead to some great memories!

On the other hand, we have the cost of living in NYC for a student renting an apartment. Here, a roommate really comes in handy. The best part is, you can actually choose the person. Of course, if you don’t know anyone in the city yet, there’s the option of looking for a roommate online. If you choose to rent an apartment in NY, you will also have your own room. Though, you will probably still be sharing a bathroom. The best part is, the cost of living in NYC will be lowered by splitting the rent. If you’re really going for a cheap option, consider more than one roommate. As a bonus, living in an apartment tends to be quieter than a dorm!

Services and amenities are important for the cost of living in New York for a student

Your expenses as a student in New York will also be affected by what you have, or don’t have, provided. Living in a dorm will probably mean saving more money. After all, there are usually meal plans which you can apply for. As they are meant for students, they will be affordable. Other things which will impact the cost of living in NYC for a student in college are furniture and utilities. Most of the dorms will have your room already furnished. You will also have the option of using the shared fridge, sofa, kitchen, etc. Not to mention that there is almost always internet provided, too.

The cost of living in NYC for a student can be lowered in some dorms by using their amenities.
Some dorms offer better amenities, which can lower the cost of living in NYC for a student

Apartments are a different story altogether. They are definitely more expensive for a student living in NYC on this front. First of all, you will most likely need to furnish the space. And, after doing so, you will need to re-stock necessary items on a regular basis. The expenses for cleaning products, hygiene and living, in general, tend to pile up. Also, the cost of living in New York for a student is greatly impacted by the choice of food. Whether you will be cooking or ordering in, the expenses will pile up. But, more importantly, the process will take up time! The bright point here, though, is that doing the washing is generally cheaper at an apartment. Not to mention that you will have more freedom in choosing everything from food to supplies.

The cost of living in NYC for a student will also depend on location

Contrary to the popular belief, there are a number of affordable neighborhoods in NYC. However, that doesn’t mean that the cost of living in the Big Apple for a student will be impacted by them. In most cases, the rent of the housing actually tends to vary. Depending on the location of the college, there are some where living off-campus is definitely cheaper. Mostly, the cost of living in Manhattan for a student is more affordable in a dorm. The average difference in the expense is about $700 per month. So, if you’re choosing to live at a Manhattan dorm, you can save up to $8000 a year!

The cost of living in NYC for a student depends on the neighborhood of the college, too
The neighborhood of the college will impact cost of living in NYC for a student.

On the other hand, there are a number of neighborhoods outside Manhattan with universities. According to the research, most of them offer more expensive dorms. So, when calculating the cost of living in NYC for a student outside the Manhattan area, off-campus tends to be the favorable choice. The average difference in the prices is estimated at $750. So, living off-campus might be a good idea for those attending LIU, Queens College, Fordham, St. John’s and College of Staten Island. As long as your place is near the college, you won’t be troubled by the cost of transportation in NYC too much, either.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide. Which will be the better option, according to your preferences? Will you be living at a dorm or renting an apartment?