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Stanford Stipend and Cost of Living

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I noticed that my stipend offer for stanford (~$22000) is less than the average cost of living (~$25000).

Do people at Stanford tend to use their own funds? How do they get by?

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Which department is offering that? I interviewed with neuroscience and word on the street was $29,500. Students said this was manageable, some even citing saving money. One thing I was looking in to was the "cheap" shared on-campus housing. The other great thing is that there's no transportation costs if you live on campus, and the gym is free (as well as lots of outdoor activities). Not having a car would help (I think there's a parking fee for on-campus, and gas/insurance are more expensive than other parts of the country). You should also find out if your stipend covers health insurance and other fees.

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You should also realize that average cost of living is taking into account all levels of living, the average therefore representing someone who probably owns/rents a small house and may have a family (and perhaps this would be true for you, in which case ignore this), but I am sure you can find a cheaper apartment and find thrifty ways to save money if you try!

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Which department is offering that? I interviewed with neuroscience and word on the street was $29,500. Students said this was manageable, some even citing saving money. One thing I was looking in to was the "cheap" shared on-campus housing. The other great thing is that there's no transportation costs if you live on campus, and the gym is free (as well as lots of outdoor activities). Not having a car would help (I think there's a parking fee for on-campus, and gas/insurance are more expensive than other parts of the country). You should also find out if your stipend covers health insurance and other fees.

Did you get a sense of how doable it is to not have a car? Most of the students I talked to said it's a hassle, even if you live on-campus. If I go to Stanford I'd probably live on-campus for at least the first year, but would rather cook my own food rather than eat out all the time, so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to manage groceries without a car.

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You should also realize that average cost of living is taking into account all levels of living, the average therefore representing someone who probably owns/rents a small house and may have a family (and perhaps this would be true for you, in which case ignore this), but I am sure you can find a cheaper apartment and find thrifty ways to save money if you try!

Ummmm. You've never priced Bay Area housing, have you?

Off campus, expect 1 bedroom apartments to go for ~1200-1500/month, homes (the run-down tiny sort) around $1800-2000/month. And this would not be in Palo Alto, but rather in neighboring Mountain View. I'm about 2 years out of date, but I doubt things have changed substantially.

My understanding is that the grad apartments are reasonable in cost--if you share, that is. Maybe $1500/month for a 2 bedroom? (It's been 3 years or so since I heard figures on this.) They are pretty tiny though.

Being carless: I'm pretty sure that one of the free circulator buses that run around the Stanford campuses also runs by a grocery store, not to mention the Stanford Shopping Center (an upscale mall). There's also a free bus from Stanford to San Antonio shopping center--Walmart, Target, Sears, Ross... You can also take the shuttle to the Palo Alto transit center to pick up trains to San Francisco or San Jose if you want to go have some fun.

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On being carless: you can also join Zipcar. There are lots of cars around the Stanford campus. This would allow you to use a car and pay by the hour to do groceries, etc. and to get away for a day up in the mountains. I am also an avid proponent of riding a bike. I've heard a lot of people ride their bike around the Stanford campus. You'd be amazed at how much groceries you can pack into a backpack... just offering some suggestions.

Edited by xamurai

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Grad student housing is quite cheap relative to the surrounding area - though not as cheap proportionately as other universities.

Included in rent is electricity, gas, internet, furnishings, television, and laundry...

It's actually a sweet deal.. making me reconsider my tentative decision now that I think about it - the other university I'm considering only offers academic-year residence halls (ew).

Here's a rundown on rates:

http://www.stanford.edu/dept/rde/shs/grad/res_chart.htm

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Contrary to the opinions of unlikelygrad, I have priced Bay Area housing. I have had several friends rent apts in the bay area, including San Fran proper, who have gotten nice apartments (not rundown ones) for under 1000/month. Looking for roommates can help too. Just be smart about where you look for housing. I would talk to other grads about cheaper neighborhoods/areas too.

(Didn't mean to sound defensive, just trying to help; wanted you to know my help was informed.)

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