Study in USA

Cost of Living – University of New Mexico

Guest Post by Anu – PhD Candidate in University of New Mexico.

With my limited knowledge about cost of living in different states in US, here I am sharing with you my experiences about cost of living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I would try to be as general as possible. Plan for living expenses for Studying in USA before deciding on the university.

Living alone is always more expensive than sharing an apartment. With lower cost of living as compared to other states in US and better funding situation than other US universities, most students prefer to stay alone in 1 bedroom apartment or a studio/efficiency in Albuquerque. People opting for sharing accommodation prefer having a private room for them.

Rarely, I find more than one student sharing bedrooms, or staying in living room. All prices given below represent monthly expenses unless defined.

Rental expenses

Rent varies from $400-550 for 1 bedroom apartments and $650-750 for 2 BR apartments. Houses cost more, about $1200-2000, but have 4-5 BRs and are cost effective in terms of time and space.

On an average, Indian student in Albuquerque spends $300-400 (with private room )by sharing a house or apartment), $200-250 by sharing a bedroom or as living room occupant, $360-550 by living alone in a studio or one BR apartment. A rental expense is the major expense in defining the cost of living.

Utilities, internet and cable

Very few students choose to stay in places where utilities are not paid by the owner or property management people. Although utility bill varies with the size and utilization of the resource, in general a student pays $25 for electricity, $30-50 for gas, $45-60 for internet and cable.

Maintaining a car

With rise in gas prices maintaining a car becomes difficult. Public transport is not very well developed in Albuquerque.

Even though University of New Mexico provides free bus passes, owning a car is important for independent life in Albuquerque. Approximately 1 out of 8 Indian students in Albuquerque own a car. With different usage frequency and mileage, the range of gas prices per month for a student ranges from $60-150.

Health Insurance

Students buy insurance from university which is $50 per month or included in assistantship amount.

Grocery and food cost

This expense category depends largely on a person’s appetite. Most Indian males spend $120-180 only on grocery and spend up to $300-400 eating outside.  Most women spend $80-120 on grocery and up to $50-150 dining out.

Regular house-hold and departmental expenses

It averages $50-60 for each student and even less if shared.

Next –  The Real cost of MS in USA (with detailed analysis).

Similar Posts


  1. Hey,
    I am Udit. I have applied to University of New Mexico, Alburquerque for master’s in electrical engineering. I want to know if part time jobs are easily available on the campus as
    I just received a mail from them asking for a financial statement and a bank statement to make sure that I am able to pay the whole cost if I dont get a part time job there. They say it’s a prerequisite for the applicaton to be processed and for the decision to be made on my admission. I am confused because there is no point in applying to UNM if I do not get a part time job there and I have to pay the whole fee,including the hostel fee which is close to $28000
    per annum.

  2. one wonders whether your statement of fact is a daily ,weekly or yearly cost.The last time i checked,clairvoyance is not my forte

  3. I am in 221(g) and additional documents require for my getting visa..How i can overcome this situation?Please give some suggestion

    1. You can’t surmount with this problem. Just submit all the documents which you asked to submit via mail. Generally, it takes 20-30 days to issue a visa in case of 221g.

      All the best!!!

  4. Hi Anu,

    Many thanks for your post. As i was searching some information about the expenses incurred in Albuquerque. Also i am an Ph.D candidate with Amigo scholarship for ECE-UNM for Fall 2011. But due to family situations i could not make it to Fall 2011. I have deferred the admission to Spring 2012 to the department of ECE and still(one month after i requested for deferral) I am yet to get an answer from them.I am little worried if they would provide me the same scholarship or any kind of funding for the Spring 2011. i am anxiously waiting for an reply from the ECE-UNM. Any idea like will they provide me some form of funding?

    1. Hi Gangadharan,

      Most probably you will get the funding. Even if you do not. You might consider joining UNM for PhD. Many students do that. Most of them get funded within 3 months of joining. Funding situation reaches almost 100% after the first semester. The intake of international students has declined greatly at UNM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *