The Student Budget


As you make plans for your enrollment at Stanford, you should be aware of the estimated expenses that you will incur. The Financial Aid Office provides a standard budget that you may find helpful in your planning process. We use the standard budget to determine your eligibility for student loans.

For a typical single graduate student living on campus with no dependents, the standard budget is listed below. In addition to these expenses, first year students can expect transition expenses including technology purchases, moving expenses, and others based on your personal situation. Students living off campus can expect living expenses to be 10% to 40% higher, depending on your living situation. A good place to start exploring housing options is the Gateway for New Graduate Students website.

Standard Budget

2021–2022 Academic Year
Budget Item Academic Year Quarter Academic Year Summer Quarter 12 Month Budget
5,530 16,590 4,365 20,955
2,130 6,390 2,130 8,520
Personal Expenses
2,185 6,555 2,185 8,740
460 1,380 460 1,840
Books and Supplies
330 990 325 1,315
Campus Health Service Fee
232 696 232 928
Cardinal Care Health Insurance
2,064 6,192 0 6,192
Total Non-Tuition Expenses $ 12,931 $ 38,793 $ 9,697 $48,490

After your financial aid application has been processed, you will be able to view your individual budget in the Finances section of the Student page of AXESS.

Your Tuition Charge

The actual amount of your quarterly tuition charge depends on your school (Engineering students pay higher rates) and your number of units. Students with research or teaching appointment are typically permitted to enroll in no more than 8-10 units; those not working typically enroll in 11-18 units. Upper level graduate students may also register TGR and are still considered to be enrolled full-time for financial aid purposes. You can find your particular tuition charge amount on the Registrar’s Office—Tuition and Fees website.

Estimated vs. Actual Expenses

The budget amounts for tuition, campus health service fee and medical insurance exactly reflect the amounts that you will be charged on your University bill.  All other budget items are allowances meant to estimate the typical costs incurred by graduate students.  If your actual expenses are significantly higher than the allowances, you can submit documentation of your costs to the Financial Aid Office; we may be able to adjust your budget and increase your loan eligibility. Most students find the allowances to be a realistic estimate of a conservative budget. If your circumstances allow you to spend less than the standard budget you should consider borrowing less than your full eligibility.

Family Expenses

If you have children or other legal dependents, we may be able to add allowances for dependent care and other costs to your budget, which will allow you to increase your loan eligibility. You should list all of your family members and any expected child-care expenses on your Graduate Student Loan Application and provide appropriate documentation as requested.

We also encourage you to explore more information about our need-based Graduate Family Grant Program to help assist graduate students with dependent children.

STEP Students

If you will be enrolling in the STEP program through the School of Education, you can review your four-quarter student budget information on our STEP Students page.

Updated on June 16, 2021 10:59 AM