Average College Student Spending 2022 [Monthly Allowance] (2023)

Report Highlights

  • On average, the cost for college is about $35,720 per year.
  • A full-time community college student spends around $1,760 per year on transportation alone.
  • Students spend roughly $413 per academic year on college course materials.
  • The total estimated cost of living per year for students, including food, housing, clothing, phone plan, miscellaneous, etc., is around $14,435.
  • 83% of undergraduate college students own at least one credit card.
  • The student loan debt, on average, is $37,584.
  • On average, college students borrow over $30,000 annually to attend school.
  • About 34% of students borrow money to attend college.

Tuition Costs

In the last 20 years, the cost of tuition has tripled with a yearly growth rate of 6.8%.

Average College Student Spending 2022 [Monthly Allowance] (1)

The cost of college varies based on the cost of tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies. Also, the tuition expense varies whether the student attends an in-state or out-of-state college.

Public Institutions

Institution-TypeCost of TuitionAdditional ExpensesCost of Attendance
4-year$9,580 (In-State)$16,284$25,864
4-year$27,437 (Out-of-State)$16,284$43,721
2-year$3,372 (In-State)$12,665$16,037

Private Institutions

Institution-TypeCost of TuitionAdditional ExpensesCost of Attendance
4-year$37,200 (Nonprofit)$16,749$53,949
4-year$13,475 (For-profit)$21,073$34,548
2-year$17,294 (Nonprofit)$17,262$34,556
2-year$15,974 (For-profit)$13,984$29,958

Cost of Room and Board

Not all students will live on campus. However, for college students that do live outside of their parent’s or guardian’s home, the cost of room and board depends on whether they live on or off-campus.

(Video) How College Students Spend $100 on Groceries | Cut

  • The cost of room and board ranges from $10,216 to $11,945 for public 4-year institutions.
  • Off-campus students in these 4-year institutions pay about $10,781, and on-campus students pay $11,451.
  • For private nonprofit institutions, students who live on campus pay $12,682 per year, and off-campus students spend $9,762.
  • For private for-profit colleges, off-campus costs on average $8,027, and on-campus costs $10,654.
  • For public 2-year institutions, students who live on campus pay about $7,165, and off-campus students pay $9,316.
  • For nonprofit 2-year institutions, students living on-campus pay about $11,723, and off-campus boarders pay roughly $9,429 annually.
  • On-campus boarders pay about $10,639, and off-campus borders spend about $9,222 for private, for-profit institutions.

Course Material Average Spending

College students have spent less on textbooks and digital course materials over the years. Students now have more available options to purchase course material such as print or digital material and choose to rent or purchase them. The choice to rent and use digital material has likely caused a sudden decrease in college course material compared to years prior.

  • At 4-year public institutions, college students pay roughly $1,334 yearly on books and supplies.
  • For private, nonprofit institutions, students pay about $1,308.
  • For private for-profit institutions, students pay about $1,194 for books and supplies.
  • At 2-year public institutions, students pay $1,585 annually on average for books and supplies.
  • Students pay $1,061 on average at private nonprofit institutions, and for 2-year for-profit colleges, students pay about $1,393.

Average Additional Costs

Other student living expenses must also be accounted for, such as personal care, transportation, and entertainment. These numbers will vary yearly due to the local economy and the student’s housing status.

  • At 4-year institutions, additional expenses range from $3,201 to $4,471.
  • Students living on campus in these 4-year institutions pay about $3,493 in additional expenses, and students living off-campus (who don’t live with family members) pay about $4,253 in additional costs.
  • For private nonprofit 4-year institutions, students living on campus pay $2,758 on average for additional expenses.
  • Students living off-campus (who live alone without family members) in these same institutions pay $5,527, while students living off-campus with family members spend $4,236.
  • For private for-profit institutions, students living on campus spend $4,748 annually or additional expenses.
  • In these same institutions, off-campus students spend $4,254, and students living off-campus with their families pay about $4,497.

Average Cost of Lost Income

Many students don’t consider the potential lost income or opportunity cost of working rather than attending school. However, school is costly, and therefore, students should understand the risk and rewards to both sides.

  • For high school graduates, the average weekly income is $763, and the annual income is $39,676.
  • Almost 50% of college students can’t afford to buy balanced meals.
  • Four years after students receive their high school diploma, they earn roughly $158,704 or $108649 annually after taxes.
  • 56% of students nationwide experience housing insecurity, and 45% of students have food insecurity.
  • 44% of students attending 4-year institutions worry about running out of food, and 50% of students have the same worry from 2-year institutions.

Non-Academic Costs in California

Beyond just the tuition and fees, students will have expenses with their housing, food, books and supplies, and personal expenses. These were some of the findings specifically from the 2018 to 2019 edition of the Student Expenses and Resource Survey (SEARS) conducted by the California Student Aid Commission. This survey sampled 150,000 college students in California from varying regions, ages, and races/ethnicity.

  • Students in California spend about $2,020 per month or $18,180 annually per nine-month academic year for expenses outside of tuition.
  • 64% of respondents viewed the cost of college and balancing school and work responsibilities as the biggest obstacle to succeeding in college.
  • 35% of college students are insecure about whether they can afford to house, and 35% of students are insecure about affording food throughout the academic year.
  • 38% of students disagreed that they have the necessary financial resources to afford tuition and fees.
  • 35% didn’t believe they had enough for books and supplies, and 30% for housing and utilities.
  • Students pay about $753 per month for housing in the central valley region and $1,178 per month in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
  • 47% of black college students indicated a high level of housing insecurity and 54% for food insecurity.

Health Insurance Rates

Below are the following insurance plan rates for students attending MIT. The table indicated the cost difference between 2015 to 2016.

MIT College Student Insurance Plan Rates

Type<20152016Annual Net Change
Student$2,568$2,268$300
Student and Spouse$3,972$3,504$468
Student and Dependent$2,784$2,460$324
Student, Partner, and Dependent$4,188$3,696$492

Private Full-Breakdown of All College Student Expenses

The University of Chicago is a private 4-year institution that released its estimated cost of attendance for 2021 to 2022. This includes direct expenses such as tuition, fees, and health insurance. In addition, there are indirect expenses like food, rent, supplies, books, transportation, and miscellaneous costs.

(Video) Monthly Expenses for Students in Spain 2021 - 2022

Categories1 Academic YearThree QuartersTwo QuartersOne Quarter
Books and Supplies$2,380$1,785$1,190$595
Room and Board$23,040$17,280$11,520$5,760
Graduate Student Services Fee$1,664$1,248$832$416
Personal/Miscellaneous$4,200$3,150$2,100$1,050
Transportation$3,540$2,655$1,770$885
Estimated Loan Fees$1,560$1,170$780$390
Estimated Health Insurance$4,566$4,556$3,044$1,522
Total Living Expenses and Fees$40,950$32,487$21,652$10,618

Full Breakdown of 4-year Public Institution Costs

The University of Washington is a popular 4-year public institution, and they released their estimated student budget for 2021 to 2022 9-month academic year (October thru June). This includes everything such as living expenses, books, tuition, and rent. These numbers give a snapshot of what a student’s cost of living is, and tuition is, broken down by each category.

Undergraduate Students

Budget ItemsLiving with Parents/RelativeLiving on/off campusStudents with dependents
Textbooks & course supplies$900$900$900
Rent, utilities & food$4,725$14,871$18,402
Personal & miscellaneous$2,316$2,316$2,316
Transportation$687$471$1,320
Resident Tuition$11,745$11,745$11,745
Resident Total Costs$20,373$30,303$34,683
Non-Resident Tuition$39,114$39,114$39,114
Non-Resident Total Costs$47,742$57,672$62,052

Graduate Students

Budget itemsLive with parents/relativeGraduate/professional
Textbooks & course supplies$825$825
Rent, utilities & food$4,752$18,402
Personal & miscellaneous$2,316$2,316
Transportation$1,320$1,320
Resident Tuition$17,394$17,394
Resident Total Costs$26,607$40,257
Non-Resident Tuition$30,294$30,294
Non-Resident Total Costs$39,507$53,157

College Students and Credit Cards

Students who own credit cards have been the highest to date and appear to use them more frequently. Credit cards are one factor, along with education loans, that demonstrate the amount of money borrowed for students to fund their tuition and cost of living.

  • 54% of freshmen college students carry a credit card
  • The median debt for undergraduates carrying credit cards is about $1,770
  • The average credit card balance for students is $2,327
  • The median credit card balance for students is $1,770.
  • 21% of undergraduates who own credit cards have balances between $3,000 and $7,000
  • Graduate students have an average of $20,402 in combined debt, which lumps credit card balances and education loans together.
  • Students in midwest states carry the highest average credit card balances, while students living in the northeast carry the least.
  • Students triple the number of credits they own and double their average credit card debt when they arrive in college until graduation.
  • 6% of students have a credit card balance exceeding $7,000
  • Students across the U.S. own an average of 4.25 credit cards
  • 47% of students own four or more credit cards

Sources

  1. http://perspectives.acct.org/stories/transportation-costs-in-student-living-expenses
  2. https://educationdata.org/average-cost-of-college
  3. https://www.csac.ca.gov/sites/main/files/file-attachments/2018-19_student_expenses_and_resources_survey_web.pdf
  4. https://gsc.mit.edu/about-gsc/cost-of-living-analysis/
  5. https://financialaid.uchicago.edu/graduate/costs/cost-attendance
  6. https://www.westmont.edu/~phunter/ma5/eg/credit.pdf
  7. https://www.washington.edu/financialaid/getting-started/student-budgets/
(Video) HOW I SURVIVE WITH $600/MONTH AS COLLEGE STUDENT | How to Budget as a College Student

FAQs

How much do most college students spend a month? ›

According to the College Board, the average college student spends approximately $2,270 per month on living expenses. The amount of money you need each month depends on several factors, such as your location, your rent, whether you're splitting the cost with roommates, and so on.

How much do students need monthly? ›

The average student's living costs are about £924 a month, but our findings reveal that Maintenance Loans often fall far short of covering students' living expenses. It's probably no surprise that rent takes the biggest chunk out of the student budget.

How much money should parents give college students? ›

Some students were given money when expenses arose rather than as a proscribed regular weekly amount. The consensus among the hundreds of parents who did send their college students spending money was that the range should be between $25-$75 a week for a student living on campus.

Should you give your college student an allowance? ›

Even for the most frugal student, unexpected costs can pop up. Having a monthly spending allowance can help them plan for those expenses and learn good money management habits.

How much should a college student budget for food each month? ›

According to the USDA website, a typical college student will usually spend between $163 and $367 a month on food. This particular website avails different costs based on gender, as well as four distinct meal-plan estimate levels.

How much should I spend as a student? ›

But it's also a good idea to come up with a budget and plan for your child's spending money allowance. But how much spending money for college does a student need? While the number is dependent on a range of factors, the average amount of spending money for a college student is $2,000 per year or about $200 per month.

How much do college students spend on food per week? ›

The average American college students spend on food anywhere between $42-$55 per week. This means college students spend, on average, somewhere between $630-$1,260 on food each semester. Remember, this is just to cover groceries. These numbers exclude the consumption of alcohol, ordering food, or going out to eat.

What is a good monthly allowance? ›

A commonly used rule of thumb for paying an allowance is to pay children $1 to $2 per week for each year of their age. Following this rule, a 10-year-old would receive $10 to $20 per week, while a 16-year-old would get $16 to $32 per week.

How much should a 17 year old get for allowance? ›

According to data collected in 2022 (YTD as of 7/29/2022), Greenlight found that the average weekly allowance for 5-year-olds was $5.98. Meanwhile, the average weekly allowance for 13-year-olds was $11.78. Lastly, at the top end, the average weekly allowance for 17-year-olds was $19.80.

How much should a college student save per month? ›

Strive to save 20% of your gross income each month, some experts say. But they caution that every financial situation is different and that any amount saved is helpful, even if it's less.

How much spending money do I need monthly? ›

Try the 50/30/20 rule

The rule entails spending 50% of your monthly income on essential expenses such as rent, monthly bills, and groceries, spending 30% on non-essential purchases such as going out to eat, and putting 20% into your savings account.

How much money does the average college student have? ›

The median weekly salary for those without a high school diploma is $592. Those who still need time away from work for finishing high school and are not able to commit to a full-time position earn even less. The median annual earnings for a person with some college experience but without a degree sit at $43,316.

How much money should an 18 year old have? ›

More specifically, you'll typically need to save up for three months of rent, car insurance payments, and a smartphone plan before getting a job. So, your savings should roughly total $1,220 by the time you're 18 to make this arrangement work.

How much should I budget for food in college? ›

The average cost of food per month for a college student is $547. College students spend on average $341 a month eating off-campus. Meals cooked at home average $206 a month when the cost of eating off-campus is included. A campus meal plan averages $563 a month.

How much does a college student spend on clothes per month? ›

The average monthly clothing and accessories expenditure for college students is $148.37. In addition to clothing, college students spend money buying shoes and several accessories like bags, pushing their average clothes shopping per month to $148.37.

How much does the average university student spend a month? ›

It is important to ensure you have enough funds to cover your expenses during your time in Canada before you arrive.
...
Off-Campus Student Cost Estimates.
Rent$600-$1000/month
Food$350-$600/month
Utilities & Cable$100/month
Internet$15-$85/month
Phone$37-$80/month
5 more rows

How much should a college student spend per week? ›

Since many college students work and earn an average of $195 per week or $10,000 if working part-time year-round, they should not need any help with "spending money."
...
Sample Budget.
Budget Category
Gas/Car Insurance$1,000-$5,000
Cell Phone$150-$800
Activities (such as on-campus clubs)$400-$1,200
Gifts$600-$1,100
6 more rows

How much money should you have at 21? ›

The general rule of thumb is that you should save 20% of your salary for retirement, emergencies, and long-term goals. By age 21, assuming you have worked full time earning the median salary for the equivalent of a year, you should have saved a little more than $6,000.

What's the 50 30 20 budget rule? ›

Key Takeaways

The rule states that you should spend up to 50% of your after-tax income on needs and obligations that you must-have or must-do. The remaining half should be split up between 20% savings and debt repayment and 30% to everything else that you might want.

How much money do college students spend on coffee? ›

The average coffee-drinker in college is most likely to go to the nearest chain cafe, like Starbucks or Dunkin'. On average, this costs about $21.63, or $92.70 a month. You can bring this cost down by almost $250 per semester by making coffee in your dorm.

What do college students spend money on? ›

The biggest expense for college students is undoubtedly the expense of tuition. For a 4-year college degree, this comes up to around $40,000. At a distant second is the expenditure on Rent which comes up to $16,000-17,000 during a 4-year degree.

How do you budget for college groceries? ›

Grocery Shopping in College: 16 Ways to Save Money
  1. Check Student-Friendly Stores. ...
  2. Buy Generic or Store Brand Products. ...
  3. Shop (Mostly) Vegetarian. ...
  4. Buy Frozen Vegetables. ...
  5. Plan Your Meals (and Stick to That Plan) ...
  6. Use Coupons—Seriously. ...
  7. Save Money on Bags. ...
  8. Eat Before You Shop.
27 Aug 2017

How much money does the average college student spend? ›

As we mentioned, a typical college student spends around $200 a month on general expenses. For the academic year of 2021–2022, an average student would have spent a total of $27,330 for a public four-year university. On the other hand, typical expenses for a private four-year student sat at $55,800.

How much does the average university student spend a month? ›

It is important to ensure you have enough funds to cover your expenses during your time in Canada before you arrive.
...
Off-Campus Student Cost Estimates.
Rent$600-$1000/month
Food$350-$600/month
Utilities & Cable$100/month
Internet$15-$85/month
Phone$37-$80/month
5 more rows

How much should a college student save per month? ›

Strive to save 20% of your gross income each month, some experts say. But they caution that every financial situation is different and that any amount saved is helpful, even if it's less.

How much should a college student spend on groceries per month? ›

According to the USDA website, a typical college student will usually spend between $163 and $367 a month on food. This particular website avails different costs based on gender, as well as four distinct meal-plan estimate levels. While these options are not ultimate, they can serve as a fantastic starting point.

How much money should an 18 year old have? ›

More specifically, you'll typically need to save up for three months of rent, car insurance payments, and a smartphone plan before getting a job. So, your savings should roughly total $1,220 by the time you're 18 to make this arrangement work.

How much does a college student spend on clothes per month? ›

The average monthly clothing and accessories expenditure for college students is $148.37. In addition to clothing, college students spend money buying shoes and several accessories like bags, pushing their average clothes shopping per month to $148.37.

How do students get budget allowance? ›

How to create a budget while in college
  1. Calculate your net income.
  2. List monthly expenses.
  3. Organize your expenses into fixed and variable categories.
  4. Determine average monthly costs for each expense.
  5. Make adjustments.

How much should a college student spend per week? ›

Since many college students work and earn an average of $195 per week or $10,000 if working part-time year-round, they should not need any help with "spending money."
...
Sample Budget.
Budget Category
Gas/Car Insurance$1,000-$5,000
Cell Phone$150-$800
Activities (such as on-campus clubs)$400-$1,200
Gifts$600-$1,100
6 more rows

How much should a college student spend on groceries per week? ›

The average American college students spend on food anywhere between $42-$55 per week. This means college students spend, on average, somewhere between $630-$1,260 on food each semester. Remember, this is just to cover groceries. These numbers exclude the consumption of alcohol, ordering food, or going out to eat.

How much does the average college student have in their bank account? ›

Average savings by education level
EducationMedian bank account balanceMean bank account balance
No high school diploma$1,020$9,190
High school diploma$2,500$20,100
Some college$3,900$23,550
Bachelor's degree$15,400$78,890
8 Feb 2022

Is saving 1000 a month good? ›

If you start saving $1000 a month at age 20 will grow to $1.6 million when you retire in 47 years. For people starting saving at that age, the monthly payments add up to $560,000: the early start combined with the estimated 4% over the years means that their investments skyrocketed nearly $1.

How much money should I have saved by 25? ›

By age 25, you should have saved at least 0.5X your annual expenses. The more the better. In other words, if you spend $50,000 a year, you should have about $25,000 in savings. If you spend $100,000 a year, you should have at least $50,000 in savings.

How much does the average 25 year old have saved? ›

The Fed's most recent numbers show the average savings for the age group that includes 25-year-olds is $11,250. The median savings is $3,240.

How much should a college student budget for food? ›

The average cost of food per month for a college student is $547. College students spend on average $341 a month eating off-campus. Meals cooked at home average $206 a month when the cost of eating off-campus is included. A campus meal plan averages $563 a month.

What is a good monthly grocery budget for one person? ›

Average grocery bill for 1 person

If you're a single adult, depending on your age and sex (the USDA estimates are higher for men and lower for both women and men 71 and older), look to spend between $229 and $419 each month on groceries.

How much money should a college student make? ›

How much does a Part Time College Student make? As of Oct 16, 2022, the average annual pay for the Part Time College Student jobs category in the United States is $36,326 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $17.46 an hour.

Videos

1. HOW MUCH MONEY I SPEND AS A (BROKE) COLLEGE STUDENT
(Samantha Martin)
2. For Mercy alums: Virtual Finance Workshop Fall 2022: Navigating a budget impacted by inflation.
(Mercy College)
3. Estimating your child’s cost of college
(Bank of America)
4. HOW MUCH CAN YOU EARN AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT💥 (With Calculations)
(SAHA IN CANADA)
5. My PhD Student Stipend *Updated* Monthly Income and Budget 2022 | Millennial Money
(Katherine Weiss)
6. Cleaning Up Our Mess: No Nonsense Consideration of Carbon Capture Methods
(Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES))
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Corie Satterfield

Last Updated: 02/01/2023

Views: 5993

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Corie Satterfield

Birthday: 1992-08-19

Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

Phone: +26813599986666

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.