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College Student Expenses

My friend from Fashion Design department recently updated her status in facebook saying “Usually, it’s like rags to riches.. but in my college (NIFT New Delhi) it like riches to rags“, and this is what inspired me to write this post.

When you study away from your home, managing your budget is something really really important especially while studying in a college like NIFT. This college has this smart knack to squeeze money out of you in every possible! Jokes apart, seriously speaking, if you don’t plan your expenses you might end up spending like hell and what’s worse?? You don’t even realise you are SPENDING!

Initially, when I joined my college, renting an apartment is what costed me the most. Later followed other major expenses including food, utilities, stationery and other expenses.

These are the following expenses that one need to take care of, when you leave your home for further studies.

Tuition Fees: Presently, the tuition fees per semester is Rs..40000/- I am yet to find out if the college offers any merit scholarships. Scholarships are available depending on your parental income. Check out the NIFT website for more information about this.
Stationary Expenses: First year students contribute a hefty amount of money to stationary stores. An average 1st year student would spend anywhere around Rs.4000+ per semester for stationary expenses. FP (foundation programme) student must have would include  pencil-scale-eraser-marker-paper cutter-marker-scissor. Apart from these FP students would need to buy varoius materials like ivory sheets, drawing sheets, pastel sheets, rendering pencils, dry pencil colours, water colours, oil pastels, dry pastels, drawing pads, sketch books etc…etc (it’s a never ending list :D) Students invest heavily in their material studies subjects buying yarn/paper-mache/fabric/clay/metal.
Oh..did I just exclude documentation expenses?? Listen, this may sound weird. But it’s the truth. We students get to prepare documents on almost every subjects that we learn. There are students who simply hit the wikipedia and come out with it. There are very few other who really do some research work in the library and produce some original content. Unfortunately, it’s not the content that decides your marks! The student who produces the most fancy-beautiful looking document with expensive colour print outs in expensive glossy sheets/pastel sheets, with decorative text in butter paper and glittering butterflies in the cover page wins the race :(( Unfortunately in order to sustain the competition, every student will have to do the same to get some marks. It’s disheartening.. But that’s the truth. It’s presentation that matters. Most of the faculty will never even read your content. Sorry to add, the most-costly-work-win-the-race applies to many other aspects in this college 🙁
By the time you enter your departments, you must by now know the knack of investing smartly. But mostly, students do spend a lot in materials/stationary and it’s impossible to give a particular figure!
Other academic expenses: Do we students even have anything more left to spend???? Well.. I guess that’s all the academic expenses. We need not spend a single buck on books, as the college library archives is brilliant source for the same. I would suggest a laptop as a must-have. Computer labs are available in the college, but the usage and time is limited. There are other expenses depending on your department. FC students will have to buy a SLR camera by their 2nd year.

The living expenses would mostly include apartment rent, electricity bill, food, clothing, utilities, maintenance , internet/new paper bill if any etc.
Apartment: Every month I contribute a big share for my house rent. In New Delhi, in spite of sharing the room with my friends, I spend around 3K-4K per month. No cheaper option.. at lest in New Delhi. I would include electricity bills here. If you don’t use electricity judiciously, you are only spending unnecessarily!
Food: Most of the college has it’s own mess and prepaid meal card. But this is NIFT and you don’t have any!! The college canteen food is *average*. It’s relatively cheaper option. Most of the NIFTians usually have our breakfast and lunch in the college canteen. Students usually have food from outside for dinner as the college canteen does not provide the same. Food will definitely cost you 1.5K-3K per month or more depending in you.
Clothing: I never had a single sweater with me when I reached New Delhi. I had to invest in winter clothes to survive the cruel North-Indian winters. Apart from the climate, the fashion culture of the college asks you to spend in this area.
Transportation: When you travel away from your home, you won’t really be familiar with transportation. Being new to Delhi, I too faced the same problem. Being a NIFTian, you’ll have to travel a lot for sourcing and other purpose. Public buses are PATHETIC compared to what it’s back home in Chennai! I had no alternative except autos. Though autos in New Delhi are relatively cheaper, I still spend a lots on them.
Other Living Expenses: Students have other expenses to manage like utilities and other maintenance related stuffs and other subscriptions. I’ve got internet bills to pay (College has wi-fi connection across the campus, I use an USB Modem for my laptop while being away from my college). Recharging on my mobile phone. Medical expenses occasionally. NIFT has a college doctor, but she’s only there to return you with a prescription and a couple of tablets 😛 and we pay around 3K as medical fees!

Apart from all these, a student regularly needs to buy various daily necessities like soap, shampoo, tooth paste, bread-butter, etc..etc.

If you don’t plan what you spend, you’re simply wasting your parent’s hard earned money. Yep..parent’s hard earned money. Most of the NIFTians are busy with their own assignments and work. It’s impossible to squeeze out time for a part-time job either! Hence, only option is to spend judiciously. Plan what you do. It’s all ways better to write what you spend. Or use a college planner like what I use. You can download this for yourself.


  • February 3, 2013

    ^^Yes. MacBook is more preferred 😉 But won't be really needing it till the first year 😉 Still, its always better to have! the sooner, the better.

  • February 3, 2013

    I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with in valuable information… Regards

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