Recently I was asked how much food for the semester would cost roughly. It all depends what and where you eat, but it’s a good thing to consider! NYC is an expensive place, and it’s good to know what expenses you might encounter when attending. Below I’ve listed out some expenses you might want to consider.
If you’re on the meal plan, it’s pretty easy to calculate based on the amount of meals you usually eat in a day. You can find that official information at this link.
Personally, I have not been on a meal plan during my time at FIT. I go grocery shopping about once a week at Trader Joe’s and a local shop, and spend about $120 a month on pretty much everything. This will definitely differ person to person, and if you eat out often that can raise the price. A to-go meal near campus is typically $7-12 and a sit down meal is about $20 including tip. But of course, there’s also a McDonald’s near campus as well as a dollar slice place (one slice of pizza for $1). Once again, every person will spend different.
Uber and taxis aren’t cheap in the city, but public transit can add up too. An unlimited monthly metro card is $127, and single rides are $2.75 as of time of writing. However there are plenty of things to do around campus within walking distance! Freshman year I walked to my part time job from the dorms. It’s a free “gym” membership – although we do have a real gym on campus you are free to use.
Also, if you live outside the NYC metro area you might want to travel home for holidays and to visit. There’s always flying, but if you live on the east coast many bus companies offer service to Boston, DC and other hot spots. I go home for $55 round trip using one of the many bus services in NYC.
Estimated Learning Materials
I would recommend contacting your professor to see if you really do need the textbook. Sometimes, there are just a few key pages that the professor will photocopy and hand out to the class. Some semesters I didn’t spend a penny on books, others I needed to buy a $100 code to do homework. It is hard to estimate how much you will need to spend on books, but if you buy used books from a friend or online, you can save. Many FIT Facebook groups have students selling past text books for many popular classes.
FIT does offer free tutoring services too. This, coupled with the Writing Studio (an on campus service helping you refine your essays and work) is a great resource provided that you don’t need to spend money on. All of your professors will have office hours where you can go to them directly with questions and for help.
Additionally, especially in the art school, the bulk of your expenses will be for materials and supplies. These depend on your sources and your tastes.
Movie tickets can run up to $15 in the city, but look for student discounts. Museums also offer some discounted nights. MoMA has free admission for SUNY (which includes FIT) students.
A broadway show can also be a pricey treat but FIT offers raffles where you could end up with tickets as low as $20. Also, look for fun on campus! We now a have new Students Activity Board (SAB) that plans things like carnivals, movie nights and other events that are free for students.
Health and Wellness
FIT has an on campus Health Services office, so if you catch a cold or want a checkup you can schedule an appointment with them. This is paid for up front by a fee added to your semester’s tuition so it’s not technically “free” but you do not need to pay to visit. They even have a meditation session you can book, and an acupuncturist. There is also a gym available for use.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to give an exact number of how much you will spend attending school. As much as you plan, it is hard to know exactly how much you might need for a semester. Every school will come with expenses outside of tuition, but it is good to get an idea of the costs associated with the location of the campus! Being in NYC has so many perks, but things might cost a bit more than you might expect.