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Guest brandeis alum

I got into a graduate program at Brandeis and they gave me my tuition assistance offer in the same letter as the admission offer. It was a tiny amount still a few thousand dollars. As an undergrad, they were very generous the first 2-3 years - no scholarships, just a decent amount of grant money, but the assistance dwindles quite a bit with each passing year. Overall I think it highly depends on what program you are applying to. I think in general they are far more generous to international students, both graduate and undergrad, although it is probably more hit n' miss with them - you either get a ton of funding/free ride or you don't get any. I could be totally wrong but that's my impression.

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Guest GoIllini

thank you so much! in the materials I rec'd from tufts, they said that most apartments in the area don't go on the market until september 1st - but i'd been hoping to move in August - do you think there will be 1 bdrms on the market for leases starting 8/1? Is $1000/mo. realistic for a 1 bdrm? It doesn't need to be huge, but preferably not a box either :) . I've heard nothing but great things about Boston & am really excited to move there!

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Guest gianna
thank you so much! in the materials I rec'd from tufts, they said that most apartments in the area don't go on the market until september 1st - but i'd been hoping to move in August - do you think there will be 1 bdrms on the market for leases starting 8/1? Is $1000/mo. realistic for a 1 bdrm? It doesn't need to be huge, but preferably not a box either :) . I've heard nothing but great things about Boston & am really excited to move there!

Hi again -- you should be able to find a selection of apartments for August 1 - i'd start checking Craigslist around May/June...it's true that more things will be for Sept 1, but if you're willing to consider Aug. 15th you'd have more to choose from as well. As for 1000, it's on the low side for a one bedroom...at least in Davis square, 1000 won't get you too much - but I have seen some. It may also be slightly cheaper further up by Tufts, because you're further from the T. Craigslist will be a good resource for that too. Good luck!

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Guest Marie

brandeis alum,

did you go for an MA or PhD program? i'm wondering if i'd have better luck with funding in a PhD program.

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Guest sleep in-er

How bad is Ashdown? Could you please elaborate on that? I'm thinking about living in Ashdown next fall b/c it's so close to the academic buildings. I just wanted to see if I could handle with most of the possibly unpleasant things there. Thanks!

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Guest guest

Does anyone know whether Harvard grad housing is any good?

Is it possible to live there with 19k? Is it worth trying to haggle for more money (financially have slightly better offers from other places)?

Thanks!

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Hi,

How is the housing situation for couples/families at MIT?

I saw that there are only 2 buildings for grad couples, and the cost is around $1000-$1100, and its hard to get in.

Does anyone know how it is to live there? Do these costs include some/all of the utility bills or its just the appartment?

And what are the other options for housing around Cambridge? I guess that renting a 1-bedroom outside of MIT will be more expensive than the MIT facilities..

Does anyone have an actual estimate on the current monthly cost for a couple in this area?

Any insight will be appreciated,

Thanks!

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Guest gianna
Hi,

How is the housing situation for couples/families at MIT?

I saw that there are only 2 buildings for grad couples, and the cost is around $1000-$1100, and its hard to get in.

Does anyone know how it is to live there? Do these costs include some/all of the utility bills or its just the appartment?

And what are the other options for housing around Cambridge? I guess that renting a 1-bedroom outside of MIT will be more expensive than the MIT facilities..

Does anyone have an actual estimate on the current monthly cost for a couple in this area?

Any insight will be appreciated,

Thanks!

Hi there -

My husband and I currently live in Somerville and are moving to Cambridge to be closer to Harvard, which is a more expensive area than the MIT part of Cambridge. We will be paying 1545 per month, including utilities, for what they call a "semi-luxury" apartment - I'd call it a higher end one bedroom, about 850 square feet (dishwasher, disposal, new windows, hardwood floors, nice building, outdoor pool - but no concierge or gym or anything like that). Right now, we live in a one-bedroom in Davis square for 1200 per month, not including utilities. I'd guess that this is more in line with the East Cambridge (near MIT) prices, so if you looked for an apartment off campus, you could probably find something decent for about 1200 per month, which isn't much more than the MIT buildings, and would probably be nicer. If you have kids you might be a little more limited because you will need more than one bedroom and will also have to find something that is deleaded. I suggest checking out craigslist boston and typing in "MIT", "Kendall" for search criteria...good luck - feel free to post if you have more questions about living in the area, especially as a couple. My husband will be a PhD student next year and I'll be working full time. Our combined income pre-tax will be about 60k.

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Guest Ally

Hi everyone! This has been very helpful! I am planning to go to Boston University. I've never been to Boston before so I have no idea, from what I've read it seems it's located on the other side from MIT and HARVARD. I am a graduate student with a tight budget, anywould has any suggestions? I would appreciate it! I have no idea where to look on Craigs List for I dont know any streets around campus!!

Thanks a lot!!

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Guest guest

ally - i'm in brighton right now. anywhere in brighton/allston is good for bu - the closer to/in allston the better. housing is cheaper there too. not sure what you're looking for, but you could get a 2-3 bedroom for around $550-600/ month. you could also live in closer to the city near fenway, but that is more expensive.

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Hey, everyone. I am also planning on going to BU at this point (~80% sure.) Would you Bostonians be able to give me some idea as to how much living in Boston will cost overall (including rent, food, etc.)? I am not planning on bringing my car because it seems like it will be more of a hassle than a benefit. It seems like somewhere in Cambridge across the bridge or the green line between BU and BC would be the best places to live for me. Any thoughts? If it helps, I have about $2000/month on which to live. Is that reasonable?

Thanks for your help!

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Guest brandeis alum

MA. I really have no idea how well or how generous they are with funding their PhD students. I know when I was an undergrad, there were frequent complaints of the faculty being underpaid relative to similar institutions. I suppose that might have some bearing on PhD funding.

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Hey, everyone. I am also planning on going to BU at this point (~80% sure.) Would you Bostonians be able to give me some idea as to how much living in Boston will cost overall (including rent, food, etc.)? I am not planning on bringing my car because it seems like it will be more of a hassle than a benefit. It seems like somewhere in Cambridge across the bridge or the green line between BU and BC would be the best places to live for me. Any thoughts? If it helps, I have about $2000/month on which to live. Is that reasonable?

Thanks for your help!

Hi vatn! You can definitely live on $2000/month, especially if you don't have a car. Do invest in a T pass, though -- it's well worth it even though it can be expensive (sometimes $70-80/month depending what kind you get). When I was at BU I lived on $1000-1200/month and money was very tight. You should do fine, and you can live very well if you manage money carefully.

If you live with a roommate(s), rent should realistically cost you $600-750/month. (You can sometimes find cheaper places, but these are often shabbier places occupied by carefree undergraduates!)

I believe I spent about $50-75 a week on food. Heat is very expensive, and watch out, because if you get a place with oil heat you will have to pay a whopping bill of $200 or so every time the oil runs out (every couple of months). Your best bet is to get a place with utilities included. I lived with two other people and I believe we each paid about $35/month for electricity.

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Guest guest

Regarding Harvard grad housing, I recommend avoiding Richards and Child Halls. The rooms are incredibly tiny. Large rooms in Conant Hall would be your most comfortable option. They have nice windows, and right now they get a reduction in rent because there is noisy construction nearby. They also get air conditioners because of the dust from the construction. None of the other halls have a/c, and they are all far too expensive given the size of the rooms. If you like to spend any time in your room (rather than in the library or lab), you'll want more space than you get in a Harvard residence hall.

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Guest brandeis alum
I second the craig's list suggestion, its the best way to find anything here. boston.craigslist.com.

Consider looking into Watertown. The 71 bus goes from Watertown to Harvard Sq in 5-10 minutes and runs every 7 minutes at peak time. It is very convenient. The 70/70A runs from Watertown to Central Sq (close to MIT). I think it takes about 20 minutes and runs every 20-30 minutes at peak. You may be able to find a $800 single bedroom in watertown. It's a nice town. Very safe, pretty, small and a mixture of urban life and suburban green space. It's on the Charles River so you can walk/run/bike to Cambridge or even all the way into downtown Boston if you want and never have to be on the road.

I definitely second that. It's definitely less expensive to live in Watertown and the 71 bus line is probably the most convenient bus lines I've ever ridden, but only because they run so often and, for the most part, on time. However, I frequently saw them broken down, though I never was on one of those. I think it's the only line that runs on electricity and where the buses are physically attached to power lines throughout the whole route, so they broke down usually when the attachments came off. Oh yeah, and it's one of the few bus lines where you pay when you get off, not when you come on board. Never was able to figure that one out.

If you want to be close (ALMOST walking distance, depending on your defintion of that) to Harvard Sq. but less likely to pay Harvard Sq. prices AND be right on a bus line, try looking for house shares near Mount Auburn hospital.

The 70/70A, by the way, does not originate in Watertown, it originates in Waltham. So if you want even cheaper rents - and they can get quite low in parts of Waltham - and can stand a 45-50 minute bus ride to Central Square in Cambridge, that's always an option.

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I'd like to live within walking distance (up to 30-45mins or so) of MIT. I hope to find a one-bedrm or large studio to rent or perhaps even a condo to buy; I think I might have enough saved for a down payment.

Can anyone suggest the best neighborhoods for me to look at?

Does anyone know how a grad stipend figures into the mortgage calculation? I mean, is it the same (to the bankkers) as a salary, or somehow less secure?

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I'd like to live within walking distance (up to 30-45mins or so) of MIT. I hope to find a one-bedrm or large studio to rent or perhaps even a condo to buy; I think I might have enough saved for a down payment.

Can anyone suggest the best neighborhoods for me to look at?

Does anyone know how a grad stipend figures into the mortgage calculation? I mean, is it the same (to the bankkers) as a salary, or somehow less secure?

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Guest guest

Hi, I'm going to Northeastern in the fall, and I was wondering what neighborhoods would be best. I would like to be able to walk or bike to class, but I'm ok if that is not possible. I am currently talking with someone about a really nice place on oak square in brighton, but i was wondering how far that is from Noretheastern, how long the commute would be and how much I could expect to spend on traveling back and forth. I am hoping to pay 500-750 for rent. Does anyone have any insight or suggestions? Thanks.

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Guest gianna
Hi, I'm going to Northeastern in the fall, and I was wondering what neighborhoods would be best. I would like to be able to walk or bike to class, but I'm ok if that is not possible. I am currently talking with someone about a really nice place on oak square in brighton, but i was wondering how far that is from Noretheastern, how long the commute would be and how much I could expect to spend on traveling back and forth. I am hoping to pay 500-750 for rent. Does anyone have any insight or suggestions? Thanks.

Brighton isn't really near Northeastern...Brighton is on the B line of the green line T, and Northeastern is on the E line...I'm not sure how long it would take you to bike there - try checking out the addresses on google maps. Northeastern is near Longwood Medical area - places that students usually live around there are Mission Hill (cheaper but not as nice), or maybe Brookline...you could also try to live right on Huntington Ave, but I'm guessing that's more expensive. I currently attend the massachusetts college of art, which is literally right across the street from northeastern...I live in Cambridge though, and it takes me 30 minutes to get there by car (when there's no traffic) and about an hour on the T.

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Guest burningbacon

After seeing people from so many schools, I was wondering about the student demographic in Cambridge and Boston. How diverse is the population? Is the majority of people hanging out around Cambridge from Harvard or MIT? or students from other schools in the Boston area tend to be hanging around Cambridge as well? Say....in Ithaca, if you see someone who looks like a student, you can just assume that that person goes to Cornell.

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Guest guest
Hi, I'm going to Northeastern in the fall, and I was wondering what neighborhoods would be best. I would like to be able to walk or bike to class, but I'm ok if that is not possible. I am currently talking with someone about a really nice place on oak square in brighton, but i was wondering how far that is from Noretheastern, how long the commute would be and how much I could expect to spend on traveling back and forth. I am hoping to pay 500-750 for rent. Does anyone have any insight or suggestions? Thanks.

Hi, like gianna mentioned, Northeastern (NEU for short) is near the Longwood Medical Area, which is away from MIT, BU, and Harvard (Harvard is scattered all over Boston and Cambridge though). The areas that you'd probably would like to look into are Mission Hill, Back Bay, or the Fens.

Mission Hill has a collection of undergraduate students from the Colleges of Fenway (a collection of 6 smaller schools in the area), so if you're turned off by the idea of living with undergraduates, then you should look into another area. Mission Hill use to be a rough neighborhood, but it has been gentrified in some degrees. While you'd like to walk in pairs at night, it isn't overly dangerous to where you'll be paranoid. I had a female friend, a short and scrawny woman at that, who walked down one of the more dangerous streets in the area at night (on a Friday night) to cash in a check.. and she came back safe. Go figure!

The buildings in the neighborhood may look rather ghetto, but the rooms are very nice and upscale (in my opinion). There are plenty of condos and apartments available in Mission Hill, so the availability is not a huge issue (your best bet is boston.craigslist.org, and then type Mission Hill). Also, the area is right off of Brigham Circle. Bank, grocery store, bar and grill, pizza restaurants, convenient stores, Dunkin Donut, post office.. you name it. It is the most convenient area to live in!

The demographics of Mission Hill is somewhat diverse for the 19-35 range. Most of the residents are undergraduates of the COF and NEU, but there are residents who are graduate students from Harvard Medical school and workers of the Longwood Medical Hospital, so you shouldn't feel completely out of place.

Mission Hill is west of NEU's campus by a mile. I don't think it is bad since I'm use to the walk, but if you find that unpleasing, rest assure, two T stations are on each side of Mission Hill (and both lines drop you off at a station right off of NEU).

The prices aren't too bad.. depending on what you can afford. While $600 a month is typical for a small-to-medium sized room in Mission Hill, the bigger sized rooms can go for $700 to $800 a month. If you want a really nice apartment with a large room, a room can go for $900 or more (though these cases are a bit rare). In comparison to other neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge, Mission Hill is somewhat cheap.. but I hate how my friend in St. Paul, Minnesota is paying $600 a month for her part to rent a house, while I'm paying the same price for a medium-sized room. *begins to resent Boston* lol

Back Bay is a nice neighborhood (the aesthetics are debatable by some), but the prices can be ridiculously high for a graduate student.. or any student for that matter. Due to it's short distance to the downtown area, the residents are more upper-class than your usual resident in Boston. If you can afford it, go for it.. but if you can't, then it is best to avoid it and try to find a place for a cheaper price.

But one of the perks of living in Back Bay is the walking distance to many places. While you'll rarely walk from Back Bay to Mission Hill, you can walk from Back Bay to the Prudential area, to the Fens (where Fenway Park resides), to the NEU area, or to a nearby T station for a good commute.

Boston and Cambridge garners most of the attention outside the city, but Brookline, Allston, and Newton are all very nice neighborhoods also. Newton is more of a residential area, so some people may not like that area if they want the city-life. However, if you like the quiet, laid-back life, the Newton-Watertown area is perfect (Newton was once rated as the safest city in the nation). Brookline and Allston has more of a mid-20 to early-30 kind of environment. Lots of bars, lots of restaurants, and lots of mom-and-pops stores (though some chain stores has started to move into the neighborhood). Very upbeat environment after 8 and before 2, and very congested.. at all times of the day.

The commute isn't so bad to NEU. If you live in Brookline, you can catch the 66 bus down Harvard St, then get off at Brigham Circle where Mission Hill is (and from there, you could either catch a train to NEU or walk there). Also, since NEU has its own T-station on both the Green line and the Orange line, you can live anywhere that is T accessible. While others dislike the train station here in Boston, I absolutely love it.

After seeing people from so many schools, I was wondering about the student demographic in Cambridge and Boston. How diverse is the population? Is the majority of people hanging out around Cambridge from Harvard or MIT? or students from other schools in the Boston area tend to be hanging around Cambridge as well? Say....in Ithaca, if you see someone who looks like a student, you can just assume that that person goes to Cornell.

The student demographic of Boston is very high in percentage for a a city. I remember reading somewhere that Boston has the second highest student per kilometer ratio in the world, second to Hong Kong. The city is very young. Rarely do I meet an elderly person of age 60 or older unless I am in neighboring towns. Most students in the city are undergraduates, but there is also a large graduate population, along with young professionals in the mid 20s to early 30s.

One thing I love about Boston is that you can walk a half a mile and pass by five different schools. There are THAT many schools in Boston. Gaining a network of friends in different areas of interest is not tough at all, especially if you're friendly and sociable. Also, maybe it is just met, but the people here in Boston are very polite for an east coast city. Not all, but most.

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Guest Lynnn

:D

Wow! What a great post.

Thanks for the all the info!!

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After seeing people from so many schools, I was wondering about the student demographic in Cambridge and Boston. How diverse is the population? Is the majority of people hanging out around Cambridge from Harvard or MIT? or students from other schools in the Boston area tend to be hanging around Cambridge as well? Say....in Ithaca, if you see someone who looks like a student, you can just assume that that person goes to Cornell.

Everyone hangs out in Cambridge. You'll meet lots of people from Harvard and MIT, but also lots of people from other schools. When I was at BU, I often went to Central Square or Harvard Square to study, go to shows, shop, etc. and many other students did too. In Boston/Cambridge, it's extremely easy to meet other students, and because of the small size of the city (cities), there is a lot of mixing together.

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Guest guestttt

sigh..... I'm looking for an off-campus efficiency or studio close to MIT and it doesn't seem very easy to find one under $1000 per month :(

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