Off-Campus Housing

Boston, MA
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: It can be stressful trying to find a place off campus when thousands of students from other school are trying to do the exact same thing. But the Off-Campus Student Services Office is really helpful and has workshops on finding the perfect place to live

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: You will not get anything lower than 1000 near campus but there are options around the other surrounding neighborhoods.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Boston is incredibly expensive, but everything has a trade off.

2 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Most places are overpriced. Look up 'Boston landlords' and you'll find a ton of information and articles about slumlords preying on students. If you get a decent realtor you'll be OK, but still not getting your money's worth. I'm from Philadelphia, and my boyfriends rents an entire detached house for $1500 a month, three bedrooms. I'm looking at lofts for $2000 a month in decent neighborhoods. Crappy neighborhoods get you more, but then you're farther away from campus and in less safe areas.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: It's Boston, so the cost is pretty high and availabilty can be challenging, but the location is almost always near public transportation, making it accessible to campus.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 797th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Vanessa Willoughby
Waterford, CT
Writing, Literature and Publishing
View all previous student authors

Due to the lack of housing at Emerson, few students stay in the dorms until they graduate. Living in an off-campus apartment provides students with more freedom, virtually no rules, and a fair share of responsibility. Boston is a pricey place to live, but Emerson’s expensive room-and-board rates provide little excuse to stick around. Though Boston has some of the highest rents in the country, it’s definitely possible to find housing that ends up being cheaper than the dorms. Emerson students live all over the city. Those with trust funds, generous parents, or an amazing job find places in Beacon Hill or the North End, both of which are the fanciest areas of Boston, with rents to match. Other Emersonians find housing in the quagmire of college students, better known as the Allston and Brighton areas.

The hunt for cheap and nice apartments is competitive. Leases generally run from September to August, and for smart students, the great apartment search usually begins in February. Emerson’s Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) is helpful, providing a message board and numbers of local rental agencies for students looking to find a room and those who want to sublet. Usually, the cheapest way to find a place to live is to respond to fliers or Internet message boards because going through an agent almost always has a fee. Of course, responding to roommate want ads has its downsides, too—namely, weirdos and jerks. Though looking for apartments in Boston can feel like a part-time job, the end more than justifies the means. Imagine it: your own bedroom, no parents or pesky RAs, and your very own electric bill.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
Early spring semester, when other students are moving out.
Popular Areas
  • Allston
  • Beacon Hill
  • Brighton
  • Brookline
  • Cambridge
  • Jamaica Plain
  • Mission Hill
  • North End
  • Somerville
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $1,500
  • 2 BR: $2,250
  • 4 BR: $3,000
  • Studio: $2,050

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 35 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Ease of obtaining/process
  • Landlords
  • Parking
  • Proximity to campus
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Variety

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 33 responses

  • 0% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 30% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 64% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 6% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 33 responses

  • 42% Not very helpful.
  • 3% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 33% Somewhat helpful.
  • 21% Extremely helpful.
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