The most affordable and student-friendly New York City neighborhoods 

The most affordable and student-friendly New York City neighborhoods 

Living in NYC can be expensive, and students who are tired of dorms can have a hard time finding an affordable apartment. It’s possible to find a bargain if you know where to look. Here are some student-friendly NYC neighborhoods to help you with your search.  


Inwood is surprisingly cheap for what’s technically Manhattan, and you can expect to pay under $1,000 for your spot in a spacious shared house. Columbia University is only 25 minutes away, making it a great location for an easy commute. 

It’s not the coolest neighborhood, so if you can’t live without yoga studios and coffee bars you might want to look elsewhere. 


Bushwick is one of Brooklyn’s cheapest options, with an average rental of less than $1,000 for a room in a shared three-bedroom apartment. The neighborhood is a hotspot for vintage clothing stores, hipster cafes, and achingly cool parties.  

It’s worth noting that the L train is scheduled to be closed for repairs in April 2019 which could cause commuter chaos while work is ongoing. 


A room in a shared house will cost close to $1,500, but for that price you’ll have the pleasure of living in a lively neighborhood known for its art scene, tasty Polish food, and fun nightlife.  

Greenpoint is an hour away from Columbia; it can be annoying to get into Manhattan because the neighborhood isn’t on any major subway lines. 

Roosevelt Island 

Rents are fairly high here — an average of $1,658 for a room in a three-bedroom house. However, you’ll be 25 minutes from Union Square and will have the pleasure of riding the Roosevelt Island tram every day.  

Unless you’re put off by inhabiting an island once used for quarantined smallpox patients, there’s no real downside to this neighborhood. 

Washington Heights 

With rents of around $1,000 and a super-short 16-minute commute to Columbia, Washington Heights is a haven for students. This diverse Upper Manhattan neighborhood’s charm is in its diversity, so be considerate of the effect that gentrification is having on the area. 

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