The price in attending Columbia--literally.

<p>New York, more or less Manhattan--characterized as prestigious, and effervescent; but, the question at bay is what is it worth? I'm not talking about worth attending the institution based on criteria, academics, programs, et al; I'm talking about in well, laymen terms "Benjamins." All Ivy League schools cost an overly profuse amount of money, the catch with Columbia nonetheless is its location. New York city is quite expensive in juxtaposition to my very amish-esque town. So when observing grocery prices, toiletries, dog grooming for arguement sake...blah blah blah blah..and so forth; does it play a definitive role?</p>

<p>M-u-c-h Feedback would be appreciated.</p>

<p>One thing most people don't think about is the cost you will save without a car. For instance, if you attended another school you would have a car. We'll say it gets good gas milage so about $15 bucks a week for gas or about $60 a month. Insurance for the car, we'll say $100 per month, and we'll put $30 a month for general maintenance. That makes $190 per month for a car at any college where you would have to drive. Let's say you travel the city a lot and decide to get an unlimited subway pass. That's $70 bucks a month. That leaves you $120 dollars minimum a month to cover the extra costs of things in NYC. This is just how I figure it, and maybe I am leaving things out, but not having a car will make up for some of the extra cost.</p>

<p>My daughter is finishing her second year and spends approx. $300/month....sometimes a little more, sometimes less. That amount includes some groceries (and yes, groceries can be a bit more expensive in NYC than in the hinterlands) because she and her friends frequently cook now that they live in suites. I know that $$ was wasted through the forced participation in the meal plan during her first year. She currently uses the meal plan very seldom and has switched totally to points that she adds as needed rather than buying a set number of meals in advance. Unfortunately incoming first year students don't have that option. She spends between $40 and $50 monthly for the subway. Many museums are free with a Columbia ID.</p>

<p>She goes out with her friends fairly often on the weekends. There are many inexpensive places to eat in the city.....inexpensive enough that on one or two occasions when she mentioned what she paid for a meal I wondered why I had not gotten a call from St. Lukes informing me that she had been admitted for food poisoning. ;) My daughter is not a big drinker so don't figure large bar tabs into the monthly $300. </p>

<p>I know of students who live very nicely on less and I am sure that there are those who spend more. My daughter tutors and babysits occasionally during the school year to supplement her bank account.</p>

<p>Yeah, the museums ARE free! And there are discounts on concert tickets, too. Woohoo. Your message sounds funny. You don't have to be so sesquipedalian on an online message board.</p>

<p>Perhaps if I had gone to Columbia (or had recently prepped for the SAT's) I would know what that meant.</p>

<p>I'm pretty sure that jono was referring to the original poster, whose post seems as if it were run through MS Word's thesaurus more than once.</p>

<p>Elleneast, it looks like your D has the costs under control in Manhattan. I can tell you that it is more expensive for most kids to go to school in NYC because of the temptations that are abound to spend money. We visit frequently,and always spend too much. Have to do some shopping, go to some new restaraunt, catch a show, etc, etc. Also when you bring a car, the parking can be very high. I know my friends with kids in college in NYC are always break the bank when they visit. But they really enjoy the the visit.</p>

<p>Some colleges with high hidden costs are ones that have no good central cafeteria and ala carte meal plans. You can really get burned if you have a big eater, though if you have one who just wants a yogurt in the morning, soup for lunch and a real dinner, with a cheap snack later, you can make out. I know kids who eat 4 squares a day and at $7 a meal that is really getting up there. My son had that problem at his school since his kitchen facilities were usually unusable since he shared a house with 5 other guys. The dishes were always stacked up, there was no counter space and the stove was filthy with all the pots and pans needing a vigorous scrubbing. I bought him a freezer at Costco's, the smallest one and filled it with easy frozen items that just needed to be microwaved, like Hot Pockets, and also stocked up on soups and ramen that could easily be eaten and were cheap. He still uses that set up as he really does not like to shop or cook and planning meals is just no on his agenda. But he likes to eat, a lot. </p>

<p>The other killer in costs are schools in expensive cities where you have to live off campus at some time. Columbia and NYU offer 4 years of housing but there are schools in cities that often do not.</p>


<p>As usual, you make good points. When my D started at Columbia, we had a number of discussions about setting up some sort of budget because there were just so many temptations. She was having too much fun at the vintage shops.</p>

<p>This year she was very lucky and was asked by the friend of a friend to tutor her high school student for a few hours each month. They offered her $80/hour! The family is pleased to have her and she certainly likes the young student that she tutors. With the tutoring money, her summer earnings and a bit thrown in by her Dad and me, she is in good shape.</p>

<p>Overall her food costs are probably less than last year because she does not have to purchase a bunch of "meals" that she would end up not using. After the first year Columbia's meal plans can be more finely tuned to the needs of an individual student. She chips in for groceries when her friends cook group dinners - which is generally an inexpensive way to eat. From her descriptions it sounds as if some of her friends know their way around a kitchen. Hopefully she is picking up some culinary skills because she won't learn anything useful in that department from me. :)</p>

<p>Elleneast -- What's the best arrangement for a second-year student, food wise? Can you purchase some amount of points that can be used either in the dining room or at any place on campus? What's a reasonable amount of money to expect to shell out for food? He actually can cook but I don't know how much we should expect of him. Are the kitchens in the dorms useable? Who provides the pots, pans, utensils? Are they pretty much available when you need them, or not?</p>

<p>This year, we paid for son's food plan and he was responsible for spending money, including eating out. (Except for a few times when when one of us was there and took him on expeditions to the grocery and drug stores.) He started his first semester being very frugal. I doubt it was $200 a month -- a lot less than his friends.</p>

<p>This semester, he's gotten around town much more and I suspect it's more than $300 a month. He's still doing some occasional bartending and makes good money at it. Some jobs are also fun -- he did one at City Hall for an annual journalist/politician roast.</p>

<p>A "sesquipedalian" I most certainly agree. On the other hand, a thesaraus junkie--hardly is it so. It's speculated, and you should abhor certain people just because their vocabulary is developed. I read, your ignorant. Forgive me, but I'm new to the site and didn't know how formal or laid back the forums were. Anyway, I appreciate any responses to my quite flowery post, so yeah--thanks.</p>

<p>Hi Sac,</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>A big eater or someone who rarely eats off campus would probably still benefit after the first year by purchasing a certain number of meals through the regular meal plan. Keep in mind that meal plan meals can only be used at John Jay. They are "all you can eat".</p>

<p>My daughter does not eat at John Jay enough to warrant purchasing regular meals through Columbia's meal plan. She now uses flex dollars through her Columbia Card and adds money every couple of months as needed. She can use Flex Dollars at any of the 12 dining locations on campus. Using Dining Dollars or a Flex Account gives a student more options but it might cost a bit more if you have a big eater....I think that you lose the "all you can eat part" of the equation if you go that route .</p>

We were in NYC last weekend and went for the first time to a nice little french bistro on the UWS. It was not inexpensive but was a great place to go for a - taking the kid out for a treat - dinner. </p>

2588 Broadway (between 97 & 98 St.)
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Elleneast, that is a favorite little place for H and me when we visit NYC. We generallly go to Midtown or downtown but have been discovering some nice eateries on the Upper West Side. We are holding my niece's wedding reception/dinner at a steak restaurant there.</p>

<p>The all you can eat is a good deal for the big eaters but some of the delis and sandwich shops can charge an awful lot for someone who wants a hefty sandwich, fries, drink and maybe even soup/salad/snack as a meal. Because we don't eat out much at our home, I cook in bulk so I was not aware of how much my boys consume. At their schools there is an all you can eat lunch policy as well. So it was a shock to me when I realized how many calories they consume and how expensive protein is. The advantage with the freezer/microwave/bulk frozen goods method is that you don't have to worry about recipes, pots, pans, cooking utensils, ingredients. One look at the kitchen sink, and I bought a huge bag of paper plates (the very cheapest) and disposable utensils. Two large mugs are the best way to go--more than that and they get used by others and broken as it is hard to take ownership of a shelf of cups or glassware. I also supplied garbage bags, paper towels initially but just the way it turned out, one of the housemates provided more than enough of those items for everyone to use for the year. </p>

<p>It is the cost of protein that makes it tough. Can always buy a cheap carb snack. I know with the street fairs and Asian shops and food carts, you can find some cheap eats in NYC, but it's so easy to overspend too.</p>

<p>Alouette -- darn, one day too late! Husband just got back from detour on his business trip and took our son somewhere for lunch that set him back $60 for an unexciting meal! I'll file Alouette away for next time. Thanks.</p>

<p>The protein eaters, yeah, gotta wean them off that steak. I'm not sure whether to call my son a big eater or not, since I think he's only managing to get to one meal a day.</p>

<p>...I read, your ignorant....</p>

<p>The ****? What</p>

<p>^ I believe he means "I read. You are ignorant." or "I read, you ignoramus." </p>

<p>I think the comment from bombarspunaner suggesting that you've run your posts through MS Word thesaurus a few times isn't trying to ridicule your vocabulary so much as comment on how awkwardly you state things. I think the ppl on this board would appreciate a good vocabulary; it's just, who thinks the city is "effervescent?" Cheerleaders are effervescent. If anything, the city is quite the opposite, in my humble opinion anyway.</p>

<p>*I thought you were trying to be clever the first time I read it though so if you were, ignore this post please.</p>

<p>^ I believe he means "I read. You are ignorant." or "I read, you ignoramus."</p>

<p>Agreed. But when you characterize someone else negatively, it's best to use proper syntax and grammar. Hence the mocking reversal of ***, which is of course all in good fun!</p>

<p>Ugh, well--interpretation can be left to the eyes of the beholder I suppose. Nevertheless, I did overeact; however, there's no need for the person to insult a poster for some simple question. I mean, now that I look at it--I can see that it necessarily isn't offensive, but the person didn't need to go on a tangent. So what? What if Columbia makes my pancreas quiver with joy. What if my only means of expression is through words? I know--you think I should get out more. Anyway, thanks for the feeback.</p>

<p>Oh, and that definately was a typo (suppose to be you're); it was a spur of the moment kind of thing.</p>

<p>Thanks to everyone else who answered my question.</p>

<p>Yeah that was one of my main turnoff points. My aid for Columbia wasn't very good... coupled with the expenses of New York it was just too much.</p>

<p>Could someone perhaps give me a breakdown...</p>

<pre><code> Tuition:

<p>"Night on the town Fund":

<p>Please give me a grand total. Then, propose some hypothetical financial aid situations. i.e "Gertrude lives in a slum next to a radioactive power plant. Her father is unemployed..." </p>

<p>Um, I hope I didn't offend anyone?</p>