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International student - hidden expenditures question

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Joined: 28 Oct 2017
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Location: Russian Federation
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International student - hidden expenditures question [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 02:17
Hello everyone,

I am from Russia and I have applied to several top-20 bschools in R1. I know that it may be too early for creating such a topic, there is one month before the final decision. However, I'd like to calculate my ability to finance my MBA.

At first I would like to mention my current assets. Now I have $102000 in cash. During first and second years of study my passive cash flow from business and apartment rent will bring me additional $70k. That is what I got for my MBA. So it is more or less around $170k.

I prefer not to consider scholarship options because it is too early for such considerations so let's calculate tuition in full. In the schools which have invited me to the interview, except for McCombs with $50k, tuition costs roughly $65k (Darden, Duke and Tepper). So it makes $130k for tuition for two years.

And here comes the interesting part. I am not sure on how to calculate living expenses and any hidden expenditures which are not listed on the websites but are need to be considered. I could find information regarding living at campus only in McCombs. Three bed room costs about $900 a month on their campus. And I am also not sure whether they provide campus spaces for everyone or selectively. Regarding Duke, Darden and Tepper I don't have information about their campus spaces and prices.
Also it is very interesting how much money is required during 2-year study on various events. I want to attend and participate in as much events as possible.

Important note: The comfort is the last thing I am gonna worry about during my study. So of course it depends. One can rent a house for $5k/month, another can live in campus for $900. My point of view is that I want to spend maximum on the study, clubs and events to take the most out of the program and spend minimum on living expenses and transportation for instance.

It would be great to hear from an alumni or a current student of Duke, Darden, Tepper or McCombs. How much money do you guys spend in total for the one year of study? Is it possible and reasonable to live on campus or it is better to pay more and rent a separate apartment/house? What are the hidden expenditures apart from clubs fee, which are need to be considered? How much money does a student require for a living per month (food, cafes, transportation, anything like that)?

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International student - hidden expenditures question [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 08:50
Hi, I'm not an alumnus or current student, but I currently live in US, and it has become more expensive to live here during the past one year.
I will speak about Chicago region, and you could use this website to compare the costs: http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/
I would say, prepare at least 1,000.00/month for a one bedroom apartment, without utilities - suburbs, in Chicago ~1.6k for a studio.
Depending on the region (south/north), your monthly expenses on utilities will vary from aprox. 100 (electricity & internet) to about 300-400 (internet, electricity, heating, water, gas, sewer).
I am not sure whether you could get some student med insurance (discounted), but it will cost you extra 300 to 500 per month just medical insurance, with a deductible of ~2.5k and about 5k out of pocket
The next big expense is food. I don't think you will have time to prepare food, therefore, not to die from starvation and not to eat junk food, you would need about 25-30$/day (at least that's what I spend on food every day).
Transportation - most cities have city pass, which you can buy for about 100$+-/month.

In total, you would need ~31-32k/year, living in Chicago region. Austin, TX is slightly more expensive.
NY/Boston/Bay Area/LA - even more expensive.
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Kudos [?]: 451 [0], given: 208

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 28 Oct 2017
Posts: 39

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

Location: Russian Federation
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
Re: International student - hidden expenditures question [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 10:12
mvictor wrote:
Hi, I'm not an alumnus or current student, but I currently live in US, and it has become more expensive to live here during the past one year.
I will speak about Chicago region, and you could use this website to compare the costs: http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/
I would say, prepare at least 1,000.00/month for a one bedroom apartment, without utilities - suburbs, in Chicago ~1.6k for a studio.
Depending on the region (south/north), your monthly expenses on utilities will vary from aprox. 100 (electricity & internet) to about 300-400 (internet, electricity, heating, water, gas, sewer).
I am not sure whether you could get some student med insurance (discounted), but it will cost you extra 300 to 500 per month just medical insurance, with a deductible of ~2.5k and about 5k out of pocket
The next big expense is food. I don't think you will have time to prepare food, therefore, not to die from starvation and not to eat junk food, you would need about 25-30$/day (at least that's what I spend on food every day).
Transportation - most cities have city pass, which you can buy for about 100$+-/month.

In total, you would need ~31-32k/year, living in Chicago region. Austin, TX is slightly more expensive.
NY/Boston/Bay Area/LA - even more expensive.


Thank you very much for your help!

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Re: International student - hidden expenditures question [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 11:25
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kromay wrote:
Hello everyone,

I am from Russia and I have applied to several top-20 bschools in R1. I know that it may be too early for creating such a topic, there is one month before the final decision. However, I'd like to calculate my ability to finance my MBA.

At first I would like to mention my current assets. Now I have $102000 in cash. During first and second years of study my passive cash flow from business and apartment rent will bring me additional $70k. That is what I got for my MBA. So it is more or less around $170k.

I prefer not to consider scholarship options because it is too early for such considerations so let's calculate tuition in full. In the schools which have invited me to the interview, except for McCombs with $50k, tuition costs roughly $65k (Darden, Duke and Tepper). So it makes $130k for tuition for two years.

And here comes the interesting part. I am not sure on how to calculate living expenses and any hidden expenditures which are not listed on the websites but are need to be considered. I could find information regarding living at campus only in McCombs. Three bed room costs about $900 a month on their campus. And I am also not sure whether they provide campus spaces for everyone or selectively. Regarding Duke, Darden and Tepper I don't have information about their campus spaces and prices.
Also it is very interesting how much money is required during 2-year study on various events. I want to attend and participate in as much events as possible.

Important note: The comfort is the last thing I am gonna worry about during my study. So of course it depends. One can rent a house for $5k/month, another can live in campus for $900. My point of view is that I want to spend maximum on the study, clubs and events to take the most out of the program and spend minimum on living expenses and transportation for instance.

It would be great to hear from an alumni or a current student of Duke, Darden, Tepper or McCombs. How much money do you guys spend in total for the one year of study? Is it possible and reasonable to live on campus or it is better to pay more and rent a separate apartment/house? What are the hidden expenditures apart from clubs fee, which are need to be considered? How much money does a student require for a living per month (food, cafes, transportation, anything like that)?


I think most important is the networking cost. The networking events are usually scheduled a week in advance. Hence, the students often have to book last minute flights and hotels, which adds a lot to the expense.
This might help as it highlights the networking costs details
http://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2016 ... duce-cost/
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International student - hidden expenditures question [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 13:04
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Welcome to GMAT Club!

Great job on saving your money and focusing on the important part of the MBA. However, you also want to have a bit of fun while at school - not often do we get a 2-year break from work, family, and other responsibilities. One can live cheaply for $1000/mo sharing an apartment or in a dorm room. There are pros and cons to both (separate long discussion). However, budgets can also be different. Here is what you should plan on and the ranges:

1. Laptop (if you don't have one) $1,000-2,000
2. Phone service ($40-$100 per month depending if you have your own phone or you want iPhoneX). Utilities such as internet, water, gas, power, will run you another $200/mo living on your own.
3. Insurance (probably included in the school estimate)
4. Car - if you are in LA or Texas or anywhere in the US except Chicago or New York, you will want to have a car. Even grocery shopping is challenging with bus/etc. Car insurance, gas, etc - this can be a range but assuming you buy a $13,000 vehicle, you should plan on $300-400 mo for insurance and gas. You can live without a car if you live on Campus, just then plan on taking uber and cabs everywhere.
5. Food/Drinks - this is a big range. I have had friends who were super cheap (myself included) and others who were used to a different lifestyle. If you drink, alcohol in bars and restaurants is very expensive. Beer is around $10 after tax and tip for the bartender and hard liquor is even more.
6. All prices in the US exclude sales Tax that tends to be 6-10% This applies to restaurants, cars, laptops, etc. Only a few items are excluded or if you buy online - hard to do with drinks.
7. School and personal trips - you will likely want to travel during the breaks - all of your friends will. There is an October break, Thanksgiving in Nov, Christmas, Winter break, and Spring break. That's a lot of trips and opportunities to spend money. Budget at least $500 for a trip. They can definitely get pricey. Many schools do have trips before/during school where everyone goes. Kellogg has a mystery trip - last year they went to Lithuania.
8. Stuff that you will need to live - plates, spoons, sheets, pillows - all that kind of stuff. Easily runs $500+. Keep in mind that apartments/houses in the US do not come with furniture but there is craigslist... which can get tricky getting a table or a bed if you don't have a car of your own
9. School books are super duper expensive and I don't feel schools do a good job of telling you just how badly expensive they are - plan to spend $600-1000 on books in your first semester until you wise up
10. Make sure all of your health and dental issues are handled before you arrive to the US. Get a driver's license if you don't have one and take some driving lessons - will be handy
11. Hopefully you will find a paid internship in the Summer - these are pretty common but some are still unpaid and may involve travel and additional rent
12. Traveling for interviews/recruiting/etc - this may be a weekend trip to NYC or a drive to a big city for a few interviews. Depends on the school.
13. Ideally - double your budget that the school recommends. If you come in only 50% above, you are doing great!


P.S. By the way, tomorrow we have a Youtube Live Webinar with Prodigy Financial - you may want to join in case you want to balance your cash/loan options
https://gmatclub.com/forum/6-steps-to-u ... 53043.html
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Kudos [?]: 29415 [2], given: 5350

Intern
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avatar
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Joined: 28 Oct 2017
Posts: 39

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

Location: Russian Federation
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
Re: International student - hidden expenditures question [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 14:06
bb wrote:
Welcome to GMAT Club!

Great job on saving your money and focusing on the important part of the MBA. However, you also want to have a bit of fun while at school - not often do we get a 2-year break from work, family, and other responsibilities. One can live cheaply for $1000/mo sharing an apartment or in a dorm room. There are pros and cons to both (separate long discussion). However, budgets can also be different. Here is what you should plan on and the ranges:

1. Laptop (if you don't have one) $1,000-2,000
2. Phone service ($40-$100 per month depending if you have your own phone or you want iPhoneX). Utilities such as internet, water, gas, power, will run you another $200/mo living on your own.
3. Insurance (probably included in the school estimate)
4. Car - if you are in LA or Texas or anywhere in the US except Chicago or New York, you will want to have a car. Even grocery shopping is challenging with bus/etc. Car insurance, gas, etc - this can be a range but assuming you buy a $13,000 vehicle, you should plan on $300-400 mo for insurance and gas. You can live without a car if you live on Campus, just then plan on taking uber and cabs everywhere.
5. Food/Drinks - this is a big range. I have had friends who were super cheap (myself included) and others who were used to a different lifestyle. If you drink, alcohol in bars and restaurants is very expensive. Beer is around $10 after tax and tip for the bartender and hard liquor is even more.
6. All prices in the US exclude sales Tax that tends to be 6-10% This applies to restaurants, cars, laptops, etc. Only a few items are excluded or if you buy online - hard to do with drinks.
7. School and personal trips - you will likely want to travel during the breaks - all of your friends will. There is an October break, Thanksgiving in Nov, Christmas, Winter break, and Spring break. That's a lot of trips and opportunities to spend money. Budget at least $500 for a trip. They can definitely get pricey. Many schools do have trips before/during school where everyone goes. Kellogg has a mystery trip - last year they went to Lithuania.
8. Stuff that you will need to live - plates, spoons, sheets, pillows - all that kind of stuff. Easily runs $500+. Keep in mind that apartments/houses in the US do not come with furniture but there is craigslist... which can get tricky getting a table or a bed if you don't have a car of your own
9. School books are super duper expensive and I don't feel schools do a good job of telling you just how badly expensive they are - plan to spend $600-1000 on books in your first semester until you wise up
10. Make sure all of your health and dental issues are handled before you arrive to the US. Get a driver's license if you don't have one and take some driving lessons - will be handy
11. Hopefully you will find a paid internship in the Summer - these are pretty common but some are still unpaid and may involve travel and additional rent
12. Traveling for interviews/recruiting/etc - this may be a weekend trip to NYC or a drive to a big city for a few interviews. Depends on the school.
13. Ideally - double your budget that the school recommends. If you come in only 50% above, you are doing great!


P.S. By the way, tomorrow we have a Youtube Live Webinar with Prodigy Financial - you may want to join in case you want to balance your cash/loan options
https://gmatclub.com/forum/6-steps-to-u ... 53043.html


Thank you very much bb. It was a very useful post.

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Re: International student - hidden expenditures question   [#permalink] 13 Nov 2017, 14:06
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