Cost of Living

Living expenses vary widely depending on:

  • where you live
  • marital status
  • whether you have dependents

The cost of living allowances below are based on averages, assume a minimum standard of living (including cost of living increases), and should be taken as a guide only. The amounts are for a single student and do not include the cost of supporting a spouse or other dependents. University-sponsored housing for graduate students is limited, so most students live off-campus. As a result, housing costs are difficult to estimate.

Cost of Living Allowances

Type of Expense

4 Quarters

3 Quarters

2 Quarters

1 Quarter

Room and board
Personal expenses
Loan Fees*
Activity Fee**
NU Health Plan***










* Average quarterly loan fees are $346(TGS), $338(SoC), $231(SESP) and $252(MEAS).  

** Some programs/schools have activity fees. The Graduate School charges a quarterly activity fee for all full-time students. Students in the McCormick School of Engineering Masters Program in Biotechnology (MBP) and Masters of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) are charged a quarterly activity fee. 

*** All full-time students must maintain health insurance that meets the University's standards. You will have the opportunity to waive the NU Health Plan if you have other comparable coverage.

**** Students who are registered full-time for the Fall quarter and did not waive the NU Health Plan, are charged the entire annual premium (usually on their first tuition statement) for coverage from Sept 1 through Aug 31. Students admitted in subsequent terms will be charged a pro-rated premium amount based on the number of quarters of coverage. The yearly premium for the 2012-2013 academic year is $2842 ($710.50 per quarter).

View additional information regarding payment options, coverage details, cancellation policies, and eligibility for the Health Subsidy.