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MAP: See Where New College Graduates Can Afford an Apartment

By Nigel Chiwaya | May 13, 2015 7:40am

NEW YORK CITY — Hey new college grads, hope you've gotten used to having roommates, because you're going to need them if you plan to live here.

Just in time for cap-and-gown season, a new report from New York real estate listings website StreetEasy shows where graduates with different degrees will be able to afford apartments. The map assumes the typical starting salary for those majors and also factors in the amount of money a would-be renter wants to spend and whether they're willing to have roommates. 

While communications and fine arts majors are going to weep at first glance, the takeaway is that living here is possible, if you're willing to share your space.


"It's possible to rent on a starting salary in New York City, although it might require getting creative" StreetEasy data scientist Alan Lightfeldt said. "Living in New York is all about tradeoffs."

A brand new fine arts graduate looking to live alone and spend just 30 percent of their income on rent (which is the threshold that most experts say is needed to avoid being burdened by rent) has just three neighborhoods to choose from: Crown Heights, Far Rockaway and Bedford Park.

The number of neighborhoods jumps to more than 40 if the grad is willing to spend 50 percent of their income (while presumably eating ramen for every meal). The number stays just as high if the grad wants to pay less but is willing to have two roommates.

Now, this might seem like old hat to seasoned New Yorkers, who are used to living with toilets in public hallways or downloading roommate-finding apps. (Developers are even trying to capitalize on the roommate landscape by building micro-suite apartments.)

But this map isn't for them. It's for the starry-eyed new grads who are bound to get down once they visit Craigslist for the first time. 

"It's easy to become depressed," Lightfeldt said. "But this silver lining is that it is possible to make it in here."