Columbia University

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Now that most starting college freshmen know where they will be going to school in the fall, the time has come for deciding where to live, and in New York City, living on or off campus can mean a drastic difference in cost.

A new analysis from StreetEasy determined the housing expenses that students could expect based on their decisions to either live at one of NYC’s college or in a similar space close to campus.

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Generally, living on campus at colleges in Manhattan was more cost efficient while living off campus in the other boroughs would likely be a cheaper option, StreetEasy stated. Long Island University in Brooklyn was the only campus outside of Manhattan where residing on campus was less expensive than living off campus.


StreetEasy’s study compared the rate that colleges charged for on-campus single rooms to the average cost of living in a private bedroom in a surrounding off-campus neighborhood. For example, NYU’s housing rate was compared to the typical cost of a single room in Chelsea, East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Lower East Side, Nolita, Soho and the West Village.

The high rents in the neighborhoods around NYU, Columbia, Pace and Hunter College contributed to the conclusion that Manhattan off-campus prices were steeper than what the colleges charged for similar living conditions, according to StreetEasy. As an example, an NYU student could expect to pay an additional $669 per month to live off campus.

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At the other end of the analysis, off-campus housing around the College of Staten Island would cost a median $875 per month compared to a monthly on-campus rate of $1,550, StreetEasy stated, adding that their analysis was meant to stress for students the importance of researching and comparing close-to-campus neighborhoods when deciding where to live in the fall.

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