Relocating to Lincoln

With a population of 250,000, Lincoln offers students an affordable community ideal for pursuing graduate study.

  • Nebraska has an overall cost of living that ranks below the national average in all major categories, including food, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care.
  • Enjoy median home prices of $135,000 and average rent for a two-bedroom apartment ranging from $625 to $750 a month.
  • Low unemployment rates and predicted above-average growth rates give Lincoln an economy primed for development and opportunity. Lincoln's Chamber of Commerce details the economic outlook of the community and provides numerous resources for relocation.

Learn more about the city of Lincoln and discover why you'll love your new home.


Photo of Nebraska state capitol building with fountain in foreground

On-campus housing

Photo of Nebraska Union plaza

Most graduate students choose to live off-campus, but both residence halls and family housing are available through University Housing. Some residence halls offer year-round housing and most offer a dining service.

  • Traditional: Husker Hall and Selleck Quadrangle reserve space for graduate students and, in addition to offering private rooms, are located on or near campus. Meal plans are available; both halls have a kitchen for student use.
  • Apartment-style: At The Courtyards and The Village, meal plans are optional.
  • Suite-style: Knoll, University, and Eastside offer single-bedroom suites with a variety of meal plans.
  • Family Housing apartments include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units for full-time students who are either married and residing with a spouse or single custodial parents residing with dependent children. There can be a six- to 12-month waiting list for these units.

Off-campus housing

Photo of a residential street

Lincoln has many apartments and houses for rent and many websites showcase them. To name a few:

If you're considering purchasing a home, numerous realtors and aggregators — including the city's two most comprehensive realtors, Woods Bros Realty and Home Real Estate — provide extensive listings.


  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a student health insurance plan for students, their spouses, and dependents. Assistantship packages cover 79 percent of the plan for graduate students.
  • If you are looking for other health insurance coverage, auto insurance, or other forms of insurance, the Nebraska Department of Insurance can help you find an insurance agent or insurance company that is licensed to do business in Nebraska.

Utilities and Services

  • Mobile phone service providers in Lincoln include AT&T, Cricket, Sprint, US Cellular, and Verizon as well as several others.
  • Bank of the West, Cornhusker Bank, Great Western Bank, Pinnacle Bank, Union Bank and Trust Company, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and West Gate Bank each have multiple branch locations in Lincoln.
  • Electricity is provided by Lincoln Electric System.
  • Water is provided by the City of Lincoln.
  • Natural gas is provided by Black Hills Energy.
  • Telecom services (internet, TV, home phone) are provided by Windstream, Spectrum, Allo, and others.

Cost of Living

Lincoln's cost of living is generally below the national average. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development provides detailed statistics to enable a comparison between Lincoln, other college towns, and large metropolitan areas.

Graph of cost of living differences in several metropolitan areas
  • Lincoln's housing costs are 18% lower than the national average. By comparison, Boulder's are 134% above that same average. To give an example of these numbers, a $600 one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln could cost up to $992 in Boulder.
  • In the more specified categories for all the cities compared above, Lincoln's healthcare costs (doctor's appointments, hospital stays, etc.) are the lowest.
  • Grocery costs in Lincoln are roughly 5% below the national average. Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston are all approximately 20% over the average, meaning that a $3.00 gallon of milk in Lincoln could cost $3.75 in these other cities. If you drank a gallon of milk a week, you could spend almost $40 more a year just on milk!
  • While St. Louis's overall cost of living may be lower, in addition to healthcare costs, Lincoln's miscellaneous costs (clothing, restaurants, repairs, entertainment, etc.) and utilities costs (natural gas, electricity, water, etc.) are 10% lower.

It is for these many reasons, among others, that Lincoln was rated the second best city in America for quality of life. Imagine what your life could be like if you lived here!