How Much Does a College Dorm Cost?

do college dorm cost

College is where most students start their own life struggles since they have to manage their own finances in college. Affording own food, living accommodation costs, car fuel, and other costs that follow.

How Much Does Living in a Dorm Room Cost?

While college dorm costs can vary depending on the college, the average cost of living in a dorm room is around 8000$ to 15000$. The cost of living would be a little bit on the lower side for public universities while private universities could cost more.

While living in a dorm in college or an apartment is entirely up to the student, it may help to know the cost of living in the dorm to pick between them.

Cost of Living in The Dorm Room

do college dorm cost

As mentioned above dorm rent could cost around 8000$-15000$ a year for a college student. Even though it may look expensive from your point of view it is perfectly normal. However, this won’t be the only thing that will cost you in college.

Living in college you would have to pay for your groceries, car fuel, decoration costs, and more. Also, you would have to spend money on electronics and furniture for a dorm room, which should be a one-time cost and you could split it with your roommate most of the time.


On top of the dorm rent, students have to take care of tuition costs which can differ from university to university. College tuition could cost from 15000-70000$ a year depending on the college and the program you are enrolled in.


A college student is expected to spend an average of 160-370$ a month on groceries and food. If you have a good roommate then you might be able to split the cost between the two of you most of the time. Even then it could cost you a few hundred dollars each month.

Car Costs

If you have a car or a vehicle then you would need to include car fuel and maintenance costs in your college student budget as well. Parking passes would also add up to 50-100$ each month in costs.

Course Materials

Tuition fees do not cover some of the course materials expenses such as textbooks, book subscriptions, and school supplies for college that students might need. A college student usually spends around 300-500$ a year on course materials and school supplies.

Furniture & Appliances

When you move into the dorm room students will be given a dorm bed, mattress, and some basic stuff. To make it a proper living space students might have to buy more furniture and necessary electronics and appliances such as a mini fridge, microwave, and electric kettle.

Dorm furniture and appliances can cost around 300-1500$, but it would be a one-time expense. These would only cost you one time and you might be able to split the cost with your roommate for some of the stuff.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Thought that was it? – you don’t get off that easy in college. There will be more expenses you would have to take care of such as college party expenses, clothing, laundry, hygiene and health, insurance expenses, and more.

On average, a college student would have to add around a couple of hundred bucks for miscellaneous expenses on the student budget planner.

College Dorm Rent Cost – FAQ

Are College Dorms Free?

No, college dorms are not free and students are charged dormitory boarding fees added to the tuition fees. However, there are ways you could get free room and board in college.

Are Expenses in Dormitory Splitted Between Roommates?

Some expenses such as paying for dorm appliances or furniture that you both going to use can be split with your roommate. However, it is best to discuss the topic with your roommate before deciding what to do.

The Conclusion – College Dorm Cost

College dorm cost is around 8000-15000$ a year depending on the school you are attending. While public schools tend to cost less private school dorm rent could be expensive sometimes. However, there are benefits of living in a dorm compared to living off-campus in an apartment.

Hopefully, this post might have helped you to find what to expect living in a campus dorm room with a roommate.

Similar Posts