The Student Budget


As you make plans for your enrollment at Stanford, you should be aware of the estimated expenses that you will incur. The Financial Aid Office provides a standard budget that you may find helpful in your planning process. We use the standard budget to determine your eligibility for student loans.

For a typical single graduate student living on-campus with no dependents, the standard budget is listed below. In addition to these expenses, first year students can expect transition expenses including technology purchases, moving expenses, and others based on your personal situation. Students living off campus can expect living expenses to be 10% to 40% higher, depending on your living situation. A good place to start exploring housing options is the Gateway for New Graduate Students website.

Standard Budget

2017–2018 Academic Year
Budget Item Academic Year Quarter Academic Year Summer Quarter 12 Month Budget
4,750 14,250 2,850 17,100
1,960 5,880 1,960 7,840
Personal Expenses
1,340 4,020 1,340 5,360
420 1,260 420 1,680
Books and Supplies
510 1,530 510 2,040
Campus Health Service Fee
210 630 210 840
Cardinal Care Health Insurance
1,656 4,968 0 4,968
Total Non-Tuition Expenses $ 10,846 $ 32,538 $ 7,290 $39,828

Tuition information for the 2017-2018 academic year is available from the Registrar's website.

After your financial aid application has been processed, you will be able to view your individual budget in the Finances section of the Student page of AXESS.

Your Tuition Charge

The actual amount of your quarterly tuition charge depends on your school (Engineering students pay higher rates) and your number of units. Students with research or teaching appointment are typically permitted to enroll in no more than 8-10 units; those not working typically enroll in 11-18 units. Upper level graduate students may also register TGR and are still considered to be enrolled full-time for financial aid purposes. You can find your particular tuition charge amount on the Registrar’s Office—Tuition and Fees website.

Estimated vs. Actual Expenses

The budget amounts for tuition, campus health service fee and medical insurance exactly reflect the amounts that you will be charged on your University bill.  All other budget items are allowances meant to estimate the typical costs incurred by graduate students.  If your actual expenses are significantly higher than the allowances, you can submit documentation of your costs to the Financial Aid Office; we may be able to adjust your budget and increase your loan eligibility. Most students find the allowances to be a realistic estimate of a conservative budget. If your circumstances allow you to spend less than the standard budget you should consider borrowing less than your full eligibility.

Family Expenses

If you have children or other legal dependents, we may be able to add allowances for dependent care and other costs to your budget, which will allow you to increase your loan eligibility. You should list all of your family members and any expected child-care expenses on your Graduate Student Loan and FWS Application and provide appropriate documentation as requested.

STEP Students

If you will be enrolling in the STEP program through the School of Education, you can review your four-quarter student budget information on our STEP Students page.

Rent - Standard allowance for on campus applicants. Rents on Campus are charged by operating days. Most students pay more in Autumn than winter spring and summer. Refer to R&DE for more information about on campus housing options. This budget amount covers most, but not all, of the on campus housing options available.
Food - Standard allowance for on campus applicants and is an estimate of minimum meal costs based on survey results.
Personal Expenses - Standard allowance for on campus applicants for entertainment, clothing, phone bills and incidentals based on survey results.
Transportation - Standard allowance for local transportation based on survey results.
Books and Supplies - Standard allowance for books and supplies based on survey results. If the expenses for your program are significantly higher you can submit documentation to the Financial Aid Office for increased loan eligibility.
Campus Health Service Fee - Mandatory Fee covering basic services provided by Vaden Health Center.
Cardinal Care - Cardinal Care is an annual plan (coverage extends through the summer regardless of your enrollment status). The annual cost is captured in Autumn, Winter and Spring charges. See the Vaden website for details.
Updated on March 30, 2017 9:03 AM