Living in dormitories isn’t just for undergrads anymore—many HBS students opt to live in them during their two years at business school. There are many advantages to this living setup, including that they come fully furnished, are cleaned regularly, and provide access to the HBS tunnels (which means in the winter months you can grab lunch, go to class, and visit friends without even having to go outside). First year student Megan Trout was happy to shed light on her housing choice, and the reasons she loves dorm living.
Why did you decide to live on campus?
I live in the McCulloch dorm and LOVE it! I wanted to live on campus in a dorm for a couple of reasons. It was cheaper than an apartment but still on campus, and the lease is only for 9 months. Since I already knew I wouldn’t be applying for jobs in Boston, I didn’t want to deal with the mess of a lease for 3 months OR the lease starting 3 months before school did and wasting money.
Can you tell us about the dorm options on campus?
There are six dorms on campus - Chase Hall, Gallatin Hall, Hamilton Hall, McCulloch Hall, Morris Hall, and Mellon Hall. They differ quite significantly from each other. McCulloch, for instance, has shared bathrooms, while Hamilton and Gallatin have private bathrooms and some of the largest room layouts. Some dorms have large lounge areas and some have full kitchens. Dorms are available to people living alone and come in five different sizes for you to choose from.
What are the dorms like?
Great! My dorm is spacious (Size 3). There is a common kitchenette on our floor and a full size kitchen on the main floor. We have a nice common room with study rooms that I use frequently. There is a lot of community feel in the dorm as I know my whole floor/hall and have gotten to know a number of the people in the dorm. Additionally the cleaning staff is incredible! They vacuum our rooms weekly and clean the sinks in our rooms (McCulloch doesn’t have the bathrooms in the rooms that other dorms have). The cleaning staff is so friendly and is there for whatever you need – Luis helped me get a screwdriver once and is always there to greet you in the morning/afternoon.
The McCulloch dorm is under a pilot this year to develop more of a community feel. We host snack time once every other week and breakfast once on the other week. This has been an amazing opportunity for the 70 people who live in the dorm to get to know one another and make it more of a community feel. The residential aspect across the entire campus is the great combination of being able to go over to a section mate’s apartment for dinner or a wine night and only have to walk a block to their apartment. It is also super convenient for running home in-between events/classes if needed when you forgot something!
What’s the biggest benefit to living on campus?
On campus living is so convenient for getting to class (the commute from door to door is 5 minutes walking). I love the ability to run home in between events to grab/drop off things, change, etc. Access to Shad (the gym) on campus is easier if you have a place to drop off your stuff and change at home (there are of course lockers for commuters too!). I’ve gone home to take naps over lunch on 3 case days which you can only do if your commute is that short.
Are the tunnels at HBS a myth?
No! They connect the dorms to other parts of campus - super convenient! You can grab lunch, get to class, or go visit a friend in another dorm without having to go outside!
What advice would you give prospective students about their living options at HBS?
· Do you have a partner/spouse who will be living with you? If yes – consider an apartment, if no consider a dorm.
· Do you want to work in Boston over the summer/full time? If yes – consider an apartment, if no consider a dorm.
· If you are able to live in a dorm or apartment, fill out both lotteries to maximize chances.
· Attend ASW and tour both the dorms and/or apartments to understand how much space you need. If you can live in a dorm and can handle a size one that will be significantly more affordable than a one bedroom in the apartments. If you need more space, understand just how much space you need.
If you could go back and change anything about your housing at HBS, what would it be?
Nothing. I love my location, love the size of my room, love the convenience of a dorm, love the short lease, and love the people in my dorm.
For more information about housing options at HBS you can read the following blog posts:
Living in an Apartment at HBS
Living Off Campus at HBS