annyong wrote:Schola wrote:annyong wrote:splbagel wrote:So is anybody else having a little bit of panic about cost of living?
I'm currently living in a city with very low cost of living - I split a small two-bedroom, two-bath house with a private yard and off-street parking for $800 (total). Looks like we're going to have to pay at least twice this for a small one-bedroom anywhere near campus, and probably get rid of at least one or both our cars.
The Harvard student budget estimates about $2000 per month just for room and board - that's more or less my entire post-tax monthly income right now.
I'm also enjoying incredibly low rent and CoL right now - but, honestly, I've known that I was enjoying it on a limited time span. I think it's pretty fair to say almost any school in the Top 6 will have high CoL, especially in New York City, and I've heard Palo Alto is fairly expensive as well. Mum posted a little while back about visiting and finding everything but rent to be reasonable, though I'm sure some current Harvard students would also have insight on this.
Cambridge, Manhattan, and Palo Alto all have ridiculous costs of living. I haven't done a comprehensive Craigslist search, but I would venture a guess that Cambridge might actually be the cheapest of the three, assuming you want to live fairly close to campus. I don't know Palo Alto at all, and of course you could live in Queens or Brookline instead of Manhattan and Cambridge, but in each case you then have the hassle of commuting in a large city.
New Haven, and those areas just outside of it, which are much more accessible than the areas just outside of Cambridge and Manhattan, are much, much more affordable than NYC, Cambridge, or PA. The South Side of Chicago, from my experience, is also quite affordable, perhaps comparable to New Haven
I, like all of you, am intimidated by the COL in Cambridge/Boston. Bracketing Yale, which unless you have a Rhodes or were a Super Bowl winning quarterback with a 3.95 undergrad GPA is really a crapshoot, I think it will be a very difficult choice for me if I happen to get a Rubenstein at UofC. It would be incredibly difficult to turn down Harvard, but the allure of the the significantly lower COL on the South Side of Chicago and having no tuition to pay might be enough to seduce me.
Yeah I've heard good things concerning the CoL in Hyde Park, but I'm not sure if you're also trading safety, I think there's some anecdotal debate and jokes thrown around about that on this forum. I try not to think so much about New Haven, because, well, I'm short on Rhodes scholarships and Super Bowl rings.
Not to come off as a partisan for UofC, which I haven't even been accepted to, but my wife and brother-in-law both went to UofC for undergrad, and both assure me that they never felt unsafe in Hyde Park. UofC has the largest private police force in the nation, and they do a good job keeping everyone safe down there. And Hyde Park, although it could never rival Cambridge, does have a pretty hip, intellectual feel to it.