bstrekha wrote: HenryB wrote:
Do you pay $9000/year for rent in urbana-champaign if you live alone?
Is it more? Less? According to their on-campus housing you get a 1 bedroom http://www.housing.illinois.edu/Resources/Rates/2017-2018/grad-hall-new-fall-2017
for $9,000. Although, I'll have to look up their rates for close by apartments which could be lower. Doesn't seem like it'll be higher.
But okay, cool. So the fact that it's not going to be 30% tax is refreshing. I guess that'll leave more money left over than I initially thought. I'm guessing all this info about tax and payment will be provided by the university once you accept the admission offer? Or do you need to be able to figure this stuff out on your own?
Campus housing for graduate students are often highly subsidized so it's great that you can get this rate but you shouldn't expect to have it this cheap if you live off campus. I am currently in a very expensive rental market. Here, if you rent off-campus, a 1-bedroom apartment is usually $1400-$1600 per month. If you live on campus, a 1-bedroom (not shared) apartment, subsidized by the school is about $1000-$1200 per month. Typically, people live with roommates though, you can expect to pay about $900 per month with 1 roommate off campus and $600 per month with 3 roommates on campus ($750 per month with 1 roommate on campus). My own situation for a data point: I live in a 2-bedroom campus subsidized apartment with my wife and we pay just over $900 per month. The same apartment would cost $1800/month if it was not subsidized by the school.
So if your stipend is low and your city has high rents, I would say definitely take advantage of the subsidized housing while you can. At my school, all new first year students are promised such housing (and almost everyone takes it). In your 2nd year and beyond, you have to enter a lottery (about 2/3 of students who want to stay in housing get to stay). You have about 3-4 months lead time to find your own housing if you don't "win" the lottery. But this means that you should keep this in mind for future years: can you still afford housing if you are unable to stay in the on-campus subsidized housing?
Also, depending on health concerns or other constraints, some students cannot live in on-campus housing so make sure that whatever housing cost you are comparing will meet your needs.
All of the above is just a long-winded way of saying: When pricing out housing, check both the subsidized on campus housing as well as the "open market" off campus costs. And to make sure that you are only looking at housing that meets whatever needs.
As for taxes: it's all up to you to figure it out. Some schools will have a tax workshop to help provide some information but everyone's taxes are will depend on a lot of personal things (what deductions you can take, what your resident status are, and if you're international, what tax treaties exist between your countries). This is something you can figure out after you arrive though. Just budget 10%-15% for taxes and you should be fine.