MumofCad wrote: Elston Gunn wrote:
splbagel wrote:Ok, team, who wants to go in on this fancypants pad? If we have three couples, it's just over $700 per person... just saying...
Seriously, though, obsessive Craigslist-watching has revealed that the supposed "market-rate" apartments rented by Harvard are quite affordable compared to what's available right now. Am I missing something?
Holy Jesus that place is nice.
Now you see my problem since we need 4 bedrooms/2.5 baths at the very least lol.
It seems sensible to me that you could make the dorms work for a year. Plus, you'll get the chance to really build close bonds with your HLS classmates. My friends have noted how nice the library is to study in and that the gym is available right there too. Even if you live off campus, you will find yourself eating lunch out in the area and spending most of the day on campus for your first year.
One consideration, I did hear that those that stay in the dorms do tend toward having to pull more all-nighters just because you get the chance to be more social. Its apparently very easy with all the resources and activities at H to over-commit your first year, especially if you are right there on campus.
The dorms would definitely be convenient and would have an automatic sense of community-- but I think the website said 65% of HLS students live off-campus. So I imagine there are plenty of options to suit everyone's needs... though not necessarily their budgets.
One of my friends is currently a PhD student at Harvard, and he sent me a mini-guide to the surrounding area and his thoughts on the different options. I figured I would post it here in case anyone else found it helpful or any current students wanted to comment:
On-campus: basically like living in the quad. Single, communal hall bathroom, required meal plan. Not recommended.
Harvard-affiliated: Harvard owns a bunch of property that you can lease from them. It tends to be extremely close to campus, but also very expensive.
Off-campus: obviously, a free for all. I will lay out the common areas. We will basically follow the red line T stops.
So MIT is in east Cambridge. It's T stop is Kendall. Kendall is probably too far from Harvard for you to live there.
Next is Central. This is the trendy area in between MIT and Harvard, lots of fun bars and good restaurants. Rent is very reasonable; when I was looking for 4 bedrooms, it was roughly $800/month/person.
Next is Harvard. Obviously prime location for all things close to campus. Tends to be very expensive. This is where I live. We are paying $840 per month, but it is hard to find anything cheaper than about $1100.
Then comes Porter, which is near the north edge of campus and near the law school. It is probably a ten minute walk from the Porter T to the north edge of campus. Porter is pretty boring, not a lot going on. But you can get nice properties for good prices; we saw mostly $750 per month per person, and these apartments were generally good quality.
Then comes Davis, which is out by Tufts. Probably a 20-25 minute walk from Davis to the north edge of campus. But the rent is very cheap for very high quality apartments. Davis is much more fun than Porter, and there are better restaurants and bars.
If you want to go off the beaten track, you could live across the river in Allston or something. You can get big apartments for cheap prices, but it is not the safest area. This is where the business school is. You would be on the green line instead of the red line, and the green line is incredibly slow.
So yeah, I think you would have a good experience if you did Harvard-affiliated housing, but it is also quite pricey. If you want to live off campus, Central and Davis are the most fun, but they are farther from campus. The nice thing about Central is that there is a bus that runs from Harvard Square to Central to MIT to Harvard Med School and back (called the M2), and the bus is free for Harvard students. So you could pick that up in Central and take it to Harvard Square, and you wouldn't have to pay the $1.70 to ride the T.