Boston Cost Estimates

Estimates of the cost of living in the Boston area from a few local schools' websites range from $8,000 to $13,000 for 9 months. You can certainly cut costs by sharing an apartment and not driving a car (see the sections on housing and transportation).

Here is a breakdown of estimated (annual) living expenses from Boston University:

Living Expenses:

University Fees.....$402

Community Service and Program Fee.....$30

Sports Pass Fee*.....$104

Housing and Food.....$11,950

Books and Supplies.....$1,189

Personal (Clothing, Miscellaneous).....$3,994

Health Insurance (full year starting Fall 2011).....$1,676 for the Basic plan, $2,299 for the Plus plan

Health Insurance (half year starting Spring 2011).....$1,141

Total estimated living expenses.....$19,345

*All full-time students will have this fee automatically charged to their account. The pass allows attendance at BU sporting events (ice hockey, basketball). Students may waive this fee before the first day of classes either by going to [] (click on “Sports Pass”) or by calling: (617) 353-6561.

**Health insurance is covered by the university if you are a research assistant or teaching fellow.

Entertainment expenses such as movies, concerts, and bar-hopping are not included in "Personal", so if you plan on having any fun at all in Boston budget some more in that category. The cost of owning a car is not included in miscellaneous. As for clothing during the winter you'll need a warm coat, and appropriate footwear for slush and snow.

Food is generally expensive in Boston. Shop around and you'll find that Shaw’s (the largest local chain grocery store) is not always the cheapest place around. Other places you can buy groceries include: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Star Market, Super 88, The Haymarket, Johnny’s Fresh Market.