Off-Campus Housing

Cambridge, MA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Very few people choose to live off-campus. The housing community is a large part of the Harvard experience, so no one wants to miss out.

2 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I haven't explored off campus housing. Almost all undergrads live on campus; it's more convenient and cheaper.

1 person found this useful Report
Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: I really don't know about housing by Harvard. 97% of undergrads live on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Everyone lives in freshman dormitories freshman year and then the other 3 years you are placed into one of 12 upperclassman houses which are basically like dorms but each with a dining hall, study spaces, kitchens, common rooms, etc. You do not want to live anywhere else because it is a community and they make it very homey and wonderful.

5 people found this useful Report
College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Very few people choose to live off-campus. Like less than 2% probably. Honestly the dorms are so nice its not worth the effort to go looking for a house that's as good or worse than what you would have had. We have community kitchens to use, and if you really want an in room kitchen you apply to live in Dewolf.

2 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 1325th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Dominic Hood
New Orleans, La.
View all previous student authors

Harvard provides a housing system that offers the best location and rooms in the Cambridge/Boston area; few students choose to live off campus. Most students complain that off-campus housing is too expensive and nearly impossible to find anywhere near Harvard Square.

Even those undergraduates with the resources to live off campus typically choose not to, as the house system offers unparalleled resources and a close-knit community that is the centerpiece of many students' college experience. If you absolutely must live off campus, then plan ahead, be open-minded, and take advantage of the Harvard Housing Office and tips (or hand-me-downs) from fellow students.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
Start looking early—try during the summer if you’re looking for term-time housing, and by spring break if you’re searching for a summer spot.
Popular Areas
  • Central Square
  • Porter Square
  • Somerville
Average Rents
  • Studio: $1,200
  • 1 BR: $1,425
  • 2 BR: $1,750

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 34 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 35 responses

  • 49% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 9% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 31% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 11% 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 34 responses

  • 32% Not very helpful.
  • 21% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 29% Somewhat helpful.
  • 18% Extremely helpful.
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