Harvard Dorm Room

November 25, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Harvard Dorm Room

Where Do Most Students Live At Harvard?

Where do most students live at Harvard? During your first year at the College, you must reside in Harvard dorm rooms. Only a tiny fraction of students chose to live off-campus in their subsequent years. After freshman year, the Harvard College undergraduate experience is built upon the Houses. The twelve residential Houses are home to 98% of undergraduate students. Students and alumni cite the House system as one of the highlights of their time at Harvard.

Freshmen Students

First-year students live in Harvard housing at shared suites close to Harvard Yard and most meals are also consumed in Annenberg Hall. You can engage in wide-ranging discussions here while getting to know other new students. Additionally, you will interact with your peers while participating in the numerous first-year student-specific activities.

The first-year housing assignments are handled by the Dean of Students office. Harvard puts first-years in suites with other first-year students, giving them lots of chances to get to know one another and form bonds within and outside the four walls of their Harvard dorm rooms. There are many different types of rooming configurations available in dorms, ranging from doubles to larger suites. Singles are hardly accessible due to the few available rooms.

View of a man lounging in his dorm room.

Each first-year student shares a floor or area of their dormitory with 20 to 40 other students in a group called an entryway, in addition to their suitemates. Every entryway has a first-year proctor who lives there and is responsible for organizing events and activities as well as giving academic, social, and personal advice. Each entryway is a part of one of the four Yards, which work together to give incoming students a strong support system.

Upper-Class Level

One of the most well-known Harvard customs is the House system. After your first year, you will be assigned to one of Harvard’s 12 Houses. Each House has between 350 and 500 students and contributes to the development of a tight-knit community within the larger University.

Furthermore, the Dudley Cooperative and non-residential students who live off-campus are also served by the Dudley Community. With its own dining room, common areas, and spaces for academic, recreational, and cultural events, each House can accommodate 350–500 students.

Off-Campus Residents

Harvard students mostly reside in the greater Boston area, with the biggest concentrations found in Cambridge, Somerville, and Watertown. Harvard University Housing partnered with Off Campus Partners to develop a website that maintains a list of rental properties offered by individual landlords and real estate brokers. Additionally, you can look for sublets at Harvard University Housing and for roommates.

Group of students hanging out in the hallway of a school.

How Do Dorms Work At Harvard?

Every first-year student should be able to live in housing that is affiliated with Harvard because first-year students are expected to live on campus. This goal is shared by the College and the First-Year Experience Office. The institution understands how crucial the first year is in creating a feeling of class identity.


How do dorms work at Harvard? Your housing assignment will be sent to you through email at the end of July or the first week of August. Accommodations span from the newest twentieth-century buildings in Canaday Hall to the eighteenth-century facilities that housed the first Harvard students as well as George Washington’s army. Most dorms accommodate between three and six students in suites with two to four bedrooms plus a common area. Most suites share restrooms with other suites; however, a few have private baths.

Instead of assigning students to specific bedrooms, they are assigned to suites. You should anticipate sharing a bedroom for at least some of the year in practically any suite. Some dorms have double rooms, which are typically quite big rooms with a common bathroom. There aren’t many singles available. Harvard Yard and every dorm are smoke-free zones.

Dorm Features

Outside your Harvard dorm room, amenities are available like printing, kitchens, laundry rooms, common areas, and music practice spaces. Even those first-year students who do not live in that specific dorm are permitted to use these areas.

  • Common Rooms: You may book yard common areas for your own events but activities hosted by student organizations are not permitted in common rooms.
  • Kitchens: While not all first-year dorms have kitchens available to residents, those that do may use them. The appliances in kitchens include stoves, sinks, and ovens. Kitchenware can be borrowed for three days at a time, free of charge, from the First-Year Experience Office.
  • Music Practice Rooms: The spaces can only be used by first-year students. Available hours are from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm. The “First-Year Music Room Reservations” template must be used when logging into the FAS RoomBook online reservation system to make a reservation for a music practice room.
  • Printers: Students have access to printers in every dorm. Your device must be connected to either the Harvard Secure wireless network or the Harvard wired network. Costs are between $0.03 and $0.15.
  • Borrowing Programs: Proctors, PAFs, and first-year students are all welcome to borrow materials from the FYE’s collection. Tables and chairs (proctors only), grills (proctors only), board and lawn games, kitchenware, and screens and video projectors are among the things you can check out.

What Do Harvard Dorms Come With?

You might have already imagined “What do Harvard dorms come with?” Typically, first-year dormitories have two to four bedrooms and a common area that is shared by two to six students (though there are a few singles available).  While some have private bathrooms, the majority share facilities with the larger hall.

Female student walking near a walkway.

The dorm room is essential to your daily life at Harvard, yet it’s also the component of college that you frequently learn the least about. Let’s begin with the furnishings that you will undoubtedly have for the four years you will reside in school.


There are not enough words to adequately convey the significance of this bedroom fixture. Harvard doubles come with bunk beds, but you have the option of taking them apart and setting them up independently in your room whichever suits you and your roommate the most.


Harvard desks include three drawers where you may store your belongings and a well-made, cushioned chair that is incapable of toppling over.


A three-story shelf that you can cram your books into since they will not all fit on your desk is available in your Harvard dorm room.


You also have a five-level drawer to store the rest of your clothing in addition to either a walk-in closet or a cabinet. Since Massachusetts is a state where all four seasons are experienced to their fullest, you will undoubtedly bring different types of clothing to college.

And now, for two Harvard-specific amenities found in dorm rooms.

Window Seat

One of the students’ favorites; if you don’t get one in freshman year, odds are you’ll get one at least once by the time you graduate. They are present in most of the older Harvard buildings.


This amazing feature in Harvard dorm rooms is regrettably boarded up to prevent fire incidents at dorms, but what counts is its existence.

How Much Is the Room And Board At Harvard?

Harvard’s admissions process is difficult but finding a way to pay for it should not be tough for students and their families, that is what Harvard’s goal is. For 90% of Americans, Harvard is more affordable than public universities, and both international and domestic students are eligible for the same financial aid. Now, let’s go over the answer to “How much is the room and board at Harvard?”

Tuition for Harvard University for the Academic Year 2022–2023

Tuition $52,659
Health Services $1,304
Room Rate $12,056
Student Services $3,298
Student Activities Fee $200
Board Rate $7,446
TOTAL $76,963

Harvard adheres to two key criteria because the institution aims to attract the greatest candidates to Harvard regardless of their financial situation:

  1. Need-blind Admissions – Your ability to pay for Harvard will never be taken into consideration when deciding whether to admit you.
  2. 100% need-based assistance – Aid is distributed based on need, not merit. This implies that the students who need it most will benefit from the financial help. Additionally, the school fully funds the demonstrated financial needs of the students.

To guide you through your alternatives and ensure that Harvard is an affordable option for your education, the school will work one-on-one with you and your family.

What Is Special About Harvard’s Residential Life?

Being able to live in a tight-knit community is one of the most fulfilling experiences for first-year students. The entryway to your dorm is comprised of between 20 and 40 students with whom you share the same floor or another designated section within a building. We will discuss further what is special about Harvard’s residential life.

Blocking groups are one to eight freshmen who choose themselves and are assigned to the same House on Housing Day in the spring. Once they are sophomores, “blockmates” are not required to live together in a Harvard dorm room (in which case they will “float” and find other roommates in the House), but many do wind up doing so. During the first year of college, blocking groups usually begin to emerge during the winter break. For some people, this process can be difficult. But in the end, everything turns out for the best.

Students smiling at the camera.

Blocking groups can “link” with one another, which places the two blocking groups in the same “House neighborhood.” The 12 houses are broken into four neighborhoods depending on proximity – for example, all the Quad houses are considered one neighborhood, while Dunster, Mather, and Leverett are another.

The “housing gods” will assign blocking groups to one of the 12 houses throughout the month of February. Because this method used to be non-random, houses tended to have certain reputations. The randomized housing procedure has made all homes today diverse. You cannot choose which of the houses you will be assigned to since it will be drawn.

Just before spring break, Harvard hosts Housing Day. All freshman blocking groups learn whose house they have been assigned to at this time. The day begins early with chanting and dancing in the Yard by representatives from each house. The room numbers of specific blocking groups are given to groups of upperclassmen from each house around 9:00 a.m. They then rush into the room while screaming the name of their house.

The remainder of the day is devoted to house-related events. You receive house t-shirts, are asked to eat at the house, can tour the home, meet upperclassmen, and get to know the other freshmen who were assigned to your house.

Housing Day was last observed in person prior to the 2019 pandemic. Last March 11th, the John Harvard Statue was surrounded by throngs of sophomores, juniors, and seniors as the College Dean Rakesh Khurana’s Housing Day Spotify playlist played in the background.

“I’m elated to have our amazing tradition back. It’s wonderful to see the students celebrating their Houses and all of the pride,” Khurana, Danoff Dean of Harvard College remarked while “Closer” by The Chainsmokers was being played. He added, “Obviously they have a lot of pent-up energy from the last two years.”

Living with your roommates in Harvard dorm rooms, making new friends, and learning to live independently are all common aspects of college life in dorms. Living within the Harvard campus imparts responsibility to students while also enabling growth and success.

Especially for freshmen and sophomores, living in dorms makes it easier for you to take part in the many events and activities offered on campus, including club and organization meetings, guest lecturers, athletic competitions, student government meetings, and cultural and diversity activities, to name a few. You have a better possibility of being more involved on campus by living in the residence halls, which will make your college experience richer.

Despite receiving a record-breaking number of applications for the second year in a row, Harvard College only admitted 3.19 percent of those who applied to its Class of 2026, the lowest acceptance rate in the school’s history. This shows how difficult it is to get into Harvard. Putting a strong application together and starting preparations early would be the best way to increase your chances of admission.

From counseling which courses to take in high school to crafting impressive college essays, AdmissionSight is available to guide you throughout the admissions process. Before you experience the Harvard residential life, team up with AdmissionSight for your application. Set up an appointment for an initial consultation today to start your admissions journey.

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