I'm sure I will get my head bit off for this one, but I suggest you take out their recommendation. (Unless you already know your living expenses - rent, utlities, transportation, food etc. and it comes out to MUCH less.) First year is tough, and I think it's better to have too much, that you can save for next year and borrow less the last two years after having been through it for a year. It will also be one less thing to worry about. You know those things are taken care of and you don't HAVE to work 4 days a week or not pay your rent. Who knows how the part time job will fit in, and what the summer will bring. Also, I know a few people who actually worked more during 2nd and 3rd years because there is more freedom, and ended up taking out less those years anyway.