Off-Campus Housing

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Off-Campus Housing


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3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing usually means Allston, since it's the cheapest option for broke college students without having to go too far. If you're lucky though, you can stumble upon a few cheap gems in cambridge.

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4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I have not looked for off campus housing yet but we live in the city so I don't see it being too hard. Most people go out to Allston but some people end up in Cambridge or Beacon Hill or other areas if they are willing to pay more.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: A lot of great options in Boston for off campus housing. Many areas with great spaces at affordable prices that are not far from campus.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I haven't lived off campus so I have nothing to contribute.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Rent can be very expensive but better if you split between multiple people. Also you will likely get an apartment that is expensive but not very nice. However, it will be conveniently right on the T and likely around lots of nightlife.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 56 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 58 responses

  • 5% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.
  • 74% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 21% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 0% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 56 responses

  • 18% Extremely helpful.
  • 46% Somewhat helpful.
  • 34% Not very helpful.
  • 2% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
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