5 Things to Know About the Cost of Living in Calgary

Considering moving to Calgary to go to university? If so, the cost of living in the city is going to be of utmost importance to you, especially if you’re a full-time student who needs to decide on University of Calgary student housing. Knowing the cost of living for students, will help you set a budget if you’re aware of these five things to know about the cost of living in Calgary before you get there.

On-Campus Accommodations Are More Expensive Than Off-Campus Accommodations

According to current research, students pay an average of $1,041 per month when they live in on-campus housing but just $450 per month when they live in off-campus housing. Of course, staying on campus might be slightly more convenient in terms of proximity to classes, but off-campus housing isn’t far away. Most off-campus is either located in the University District area of Calgary or is located along public transportation lines that will get you to classes quickly.

Even when you add in the costs of food, transportation, utilities, entertainment, groceries, health care, and clothing, off-campus students pay an average of $591 less per month than those who live on campus. Some off-campus accommodations also offer student-centered community facilities and events that reduce the cost of living even further.

Cost of Education is Lower in Calgary Than in Other Provinces

Tuition fees for students who study in Calgary are significantly lower than students who choose to study elsewhere. This is because the provincial government of Alberta subsidizes the public education system in Calgary. There are numerous educational options in the city as well, making it an excellent choice no matter your area of study.

Food and Grocery Costs Vary Based On Where You Buy

The study showed that food costs average approximately $689 per month and grocery costs run about $60 per month. However, this is just an example and only an average. If you dine out at expensive places or choose higher-end grocery stores, your costs will be more than $749 per month. Similarly, by choosing not to eat out and to buy your groceries at less expensive stores, you’ll be significantly below the average, which can give you wiggle room in your budget to spend elsewhere, like on entertainment.

Public Transportation Beats Out Owning a Car in Calgary

The average monthly cost of owning a car in Calgary is about $1,077 per month, including interest, depreciation, gas, maintenance, fees, and insurance. The average monthly cost for public transportation in Calgary is $112. As a student on a budget, you can save a lot of money by choosing to forgo a car and use the various public transportation options available in the city.

Calgary’s Student Experience is Worth the Extra Cost

While Calgary can be a very expensive city, there are definitely ways to cut your expenses so that it fits your student budget. And, as you’ll find out, the experience at the University of Calgary or other schools is well worth any extra costs you pay as a result. The variety of activities available, the natural surroundings, and the welcoming culture will give you everything you need during your time as a student.


Calgary’s cost of living is a little higher than in other Canadian cities, but if you budget properly, your student experience will more than make up for the slightly higher costs. You may even decide to buy a house and stay in the city when your studies are complete!


Hot Topics

Related Articles