Shut Out of Harvard Dorms, Students Flock to Boston and Cambridge Rentals

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Lowell House courtyard, tower and bell shines brightly after house renewal. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Shut out of campus dorms, Harvard University students are flocking to Boston and Cambridge rentals, according to a report by the Harvard Crimson.

“Denied the opportunity to live in Harvard dorms, some students at the College have returned to the Boston area on their own dime,” Crimson said.

Harvard announced in July that it would hold all undergraduate courses online, welcoming freshmen — in addition to a select few upperclassmen — to spend the fall semester on campus, while taking classes from their dorm rooms. In a normal year, more than 90 percent of Harvard undergraduates live in on-campus housing, according to Crimson.

“Despite precipitous local real estate prices, a number of upperclassmen have chosen to take up residence in the Cambridge or Greater Boston area this fall. They say they hope living adjacent to Harvard will help them maintain the continuity of their College experience, facilitate socially distant meet-ups with friends, enable them to access library resources, and potentially allow them to resume work in local labs,” Crimson said.

Although living off campus frees these students from the strict rules the College has put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, administrators have urged them to act cautiously, according to Crimson.