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.