Budgeting As A Grad Student

Attention all Grad Students!

This page is meant to help you better understand your financial standing. It is extremely useful if you are from out of state, as the price of living varies across the world. This page will mainly contain tables to efficiently illustrate all of the “little” expenses that are easily forgotten, yet add up substantially. If you want more in depth explanation, please click this link (Word) or this one (PDF)(Contains all the information here and more!).

Table 1: Estimated Total Cost of Attending 1 Year at UMBC

2021-2022 Graduate Cost of Attendance

2021-2022

In-State

Per Year

Out-of-State 

Per Year

Type

Tuition/Fees

$15,048

$23,994

Direct

Rent/Utilities/Food

$22,500

$22,500

Indirect

Books

$800

$800

Indirect

Transportation

$2,416

$2,416

Indirect

Other

$1,684

$1,684

Indirect

Direct Loan Fee

$178

$178

Indirect

PLUS Loan Fee

$888

$888

Indirect

Total

$43,514

$52,460

Table 1 has an estimated total cost for 1 year at UMBC. This cost includes many aspects of living which will be described later in this document.

 

Table 2: Average Monthly Costs of a 1 Bedroom Apartment

Average Cost of Rent & Utilities per Location (Monthly)

Type

Location

Rent

Utilities

1 Bedroom Apartment

Catonsville, MD

$1,300

unknown

1 Bedroom Apartment

Baltimore, MD

$1,500

$252.00

1 Bedroom Apartment

Columbia, MD

$1,300

$138.20

1 Bedroom Apartment

Laurel, MD

$1,700

$138.20

1 Bedroom Apartment

Arbutus, MD

$1,600

$140

1 Bedroom Apartment

Ellicott City, MD

$1,200

unknown (around
$217?)

1 Bedroom Apartment

Elkridge, MD

$1,400

unknown

Table 2 describes the expenses of renting an apartment near UMBC. If it is possible, I highly recommend renting a house/apartment with others as it will significantly lower the individual cost of housing.

 

Table 3: Transportation and Miscellaneous Costs

Monthly Expenses

Type

Average Cost

Your/Personal Cost

Car Insurance (average in
the U.S.)

$103.33 ($1,240/year)

Car Payment (average in
the U.S. for a used car)

$300

Gas 

(average gas in MD $2.759
* average gas tank size 12 gallons) = $33.108

(average 25 miles per
gallon) = 300 mi

Catonsville = 2.7 mi
Baltimore = 9.4 mi
Columbia = 17 mi * 2 = 34mi * 20 = 680mi

Laurel = 17 mi 

Arbutus = 2.2 mi * 2 =
4.4mi * 20 = 88 mi

Ellicott = 9.3 mi

Elkridge = 7.5 mi

Assume: 

Student goes to campus 5x
a week, roundtrip = 20x month

Anywhere between

$33.108 

and 

$75.0448

(680mi / 300mi = 2.267 *
$33.108)

depending on where you
live

not accounting for leisure
activities

Transportation (if no car)

UMBC transit (unavailable
until 5/20/21)

All
Access College Transit Pass

UMBC
ZipCar
(unavailable until Spring 2021)

Free

$52.90

($25/year)

Internet – basic

$30 – $35

Phone – mint mobile

$15 – $30

Groceries (varies from location to
location)

$200

Subscription Services

Netflix – Basic

Spotify Premium Student +
Hulu Plan

Amazon Prime Student

$8.99

$4.99

$6.49 (OR $59/year)

Table 3 describes the transportation costs. This includes having and maintaining a car, gas to drive to and from campus. Along with this, it has some additional costs, such as internet, phone plan, groceries, and subscription services.

 

Table 4: Stipend from UMBC

Stipend

Yearly

Bi-weekly

Health Insurance

University Fees

9-month contract

(no summer work)

$20,300

$922.73

Covered by department

Covered for first 3 years

12-month contract

$23,990

$922.69

Covered by department

Covered for first 3 years

Table 4 illustrates the base amount of income that you will be receiving if you are a 9-month or a 12-month contract. This does not include any other money that is made from side jobs or other sources of income.

 

Hopefully this gives an idea of the different aspects that need to be considered when living in Maryland. Please take a look at the full document linked above.