At Harvard Kennedy School, we apply a “modest but livable” standard when determining the student budget or cost of attendance. We estimate your living expenses will be about $2,900 per month. This may require you to live more modestly, have roommates, and cook more meals at home.

The student budget applies to the current academic year.

Academic Year Timeline

Use the following time frames to calculate your living expenses for the academic year:

MPP, MPA/ID, and MPA students 9-month academic year (late August-May)
MC/MPA students 10-month academic year (July-May)
MC/MPA Mason students 10-month academic year (July-May)
Student Budget Calculator
Use our Student Budget Calculator to map out your finances for the academic year.

We realize you may incur expenses before the academic year gets underway, but they cannot be included in your cost of attendance. For example, if a two-year student has a lease with Harvard University Housing beginning in July, the student's July and August rent payments cannot be included in the cost of attendance. 

The following list details expenses that can and cannot be included in your cost of attendance.

Not Included
Tuition and fees Credit card payments
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Dependent care, excluding child day care
HUHS Student Health Fee (SHF) Expenses before the academic year
HKS activity fee Gym memberships
Books and supplies Smartphones, iPads, tablets
Child day care Travel unrelated to coursework
Local travel, excluding car/car insurance payments  
Personal computer for coursework  
Unreimbursed medical expenses (from academic year)