Cost of Living in Minnesota

The Twin Cities area is a thriving metropolis offering many urban amenities. We estimate annual living expenses for a single student at $16,000, but lifestyle choices could reduce or increase this amount considerably.


Housing expenses are consistently low in Minneapolis, with the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment at $899/month. SPH students live in apartments near campus and throughout the Twin Cities area. The university’s Housing & Residential Life posts off-campus housing options.

Students with partners or families may live in university family/partnered housing with amenities such as childcare facilities, study rooms and community centers. The Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative (near the St. Paul campus) and the Como Student Community Cooperative (near the Minneapolis campus) are two options in this category.


U-Pass: The university’s transit program, the U-Pass, provides unlimited metro area bus rides at a substantial savings. The U-Pass is available to students for $114 per semester. To order a U-Pass, visit the Parking & Transportation page.

Public transit: The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system and Minneapolis/St. Paul Bus system are good transportation options. Students can use their U-Pass on any route, any time of day, as many times as they want.

Campus shuttles: You can get wherever you need to go at the university by using the free campus shuttle system. These shuttle buses link the Minneapolis (East Bank and West Bank) and St. Paul campuses.

Zipcar: This option allow you to rent a car for a short amount of time, allowing for flexibility without having to purchase a car. Zipcar offers one-time fees or monthly rates.

Parking: Ramps, meters and parking lots are options for those who drive to campus. Students can enter a lottery for on-campus contract parking space. Parking facilities are available on both the St. Paul and Minneapolis campus, as well as both East and West Banks.

Health Insurance

The Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) is a cost-effective, comprehensive health plan designed to meet the unique needs of students. For more information about health insurance, visit the Office of Student Health Benefits.

Students with graduate assistant appointments may be eligible to participate in the university-sponsored Graduate Assistant Health Plan. For more information about health insurance, visit the Office of Student Health Benefits.

Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan. For more information about health insurance, visit the Office of Student Health Benefits.

Note: The University of Minnesota mandates all international students and their dependents be covered by the University-sponsored health plan while studying in the United States.

Childcare & Family Support

Support for student parents is available through the Student Parent HELP Center.

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