Graduate School

Financial Considerations

Learn more about realistic costs and considerations living in Providence.

Providence is surprisingly affordable. Housing costs are lower here than the national average, and housing dollars will go farther here than in Boston, New Haven, or the New York metro area.


New students will want to plan for travel and set-up costs. Typically, landlords will want the equivalent of two months of rent up front (security deposit and the first month of rent).  Apartment costs vary, of course, based on location, size, amenities,  and whether utilities are included in the rent.

As a guideline, one could assume monthly expenses of $2,635 including:

  • Rent and utilities ($1,430)
  • Food and groceries ($660)
  • Transportation ($100)
  • Books and supplies ($135)
  • Personal expenses ($310)

The following websites can help you determine the realistic costs and considerations, based on your needs and circumstances. 

City-to-city comparison of the salary needed to obtain the same standard of living as well as changes in groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care.
City-to-city comparisons of key consumer costs (housing, utilities, transportation, health care, groceries) and miscellaneous goods recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNN Money, and the President's Council of Economic Advisors. Results are available for a fee.
The Grad Sense Budget Calculator shows different budgeting scenarios based amounts entered for funds and expenses typical to graduate student living.
Compares the cost of living index between any two of 800 U.S. cities. Includes comparisons on 2,000 square foot homes, property and sales taxes, income tax, median household income, crime, education, auto insurance, and the weather.