Getting settled in a new area is exciting but also comes with challenges and expenses!
As you prepare to begin graduate studies at Lehigh University, here is some information to help you estimate the costs you might incur. We hope that by planning for these costs your transition to graduate school will go smoothly.
Payroll: For students who are working at Lehigh as a teaching or research assistant, your department will only be able to complete the process to add you to payroll after you arrive at Lehigh. There will be a delay in receiving your first paycheck, so we recommend that you have money available for your startup costs outside of the salary you will be paid by Lehigh.
Housing: You should be prepared to pay the equivalent of three month’s rent. Most graduate students live off-campus in shared housing. The monthly cost per room can vary from approximately $700 to $1,000. Students who wish to live by themselves (without roommates) or with their partner or family, can expect to pay between $1000 and upwards of $2000 per month, depending on the location and apartment amenities. Many landlords require first and last month rent as well as a security deposit (up to the equivalent of one month rent). Some apartments include utilities (water, trash, internet), some do not.
Health Insurance: The cost of insurance for the 23-24 year was $2,452. In addition, there is a required Wellness Fee of $105/semester for 23-24 (Subject to change). Students who receive a stipend from their research/teaching/or graduate assistantships are able to choose payroll deduction to spread the cost of insurance over the academic year and will have 80% of the premium subsidized. If you are not eligible for the subsidy or payroll deduction, then you will have to pay the premium in full by the beginning of the semester.
Personal Expenses: You may need to purchase a new phone or computer, as well as furniture and other household items. Some apartments are furnished but some are not. Many graduate students sell their household items at a low cost (check out the Graduate Student Life Facebook page starting in May or June). Lehigh Financial Aid estimates that most students spend at least $1500 per year on incidentals and personal expenses. If you need to furnish your apartment, you should anticipate spending more than this amount.
Books or other equipment: These costs will vary by program. Lehigh Financial Aid estimates that most students spend at least $1000 per year on books and supplies.
Parking permit: The fee to park on Lehigh’s campus can range from $0 for the commuter lot to $650 for all campus-access. If you live in the City of Bethlehem, you may need to purchase a permit to park on your street. These range from $20 - $40+ annually depending on where you live and where you wish to park.
Everyone’s situation is different, and we hope this will help you calculate the amount of “start-up” funds you will need to get settled in Bethlehem.
Feel free to get in touch with the Graduate Life Office (email@example.com) with any questions you might have.