Housing FAQ & Tips

Where do students live?

The closest communities to Fletcher are Medford and Somerville. 

Students also live in the cities/towns of Cambridge, Arlington, Malden, and Winchester.

How far away from campus do students live?

The majority of students live within one mile of campus, many within a few blocks.

How do students get to Fletcher everyday?

Most students walk to campus everyday. Students living farther away from campus use public transportation or drive. There are several bus routes (MBTA Routes 80, 94 and 96) in the area and the subway station (MBTA Rapid Transit “T” Red Line/Davis Square stop) is approximately a 10-minute walk from campus. MBTA maps and routes can be accessed on the MBTA website. The Tufts University Shuttle runs between the subway and the Tufts campus.

How long does it typically take to secure housing?

About two to three months.

How many roommates do students have?

Most students have one or more roommates. Many students live with other Fletcher students.

How much do students pay in rent each month?

Students with no roommates pay on average between $1,500-$2,500 per month. Students with roommates pay on average between $800-$1200 per month, depending on the number of roommates.

Is parking available at Fletcher?

Yes, students may purchase a commuter student decal or a resident student (overnight parking) decal. There is a parking lot adjacent to the Fletcher complex. Information on on-campus parking can be found here.

What are the best resources for finding housing?
What are typical realtor fees?

Realtors typically charge one half to one month’s rent for services.

What type of up front fees do students pay?

Many students are required to pay a security deposit (usually one month’s rent). In addition, many landlords will require first and last month’s rent up front. In addition to first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and the security deposit, most landlords (but not all) use a broker and ask for a broker’s fee, which is usually one month’s rent.

Are utlities included?

Typically, utilities are not included.

When should incoming students begin to search for housing?

It is never too early to begin searching for housing. Houses/apartments with January vacancies are likely to fill them a month or two in advance

Housing Tips from Students

The Office of Admissions surveyed current students to provide incoming students with more information about on- and off-campus housing at Fletcher. We hope that this information is useful to you as you search for housing.

Finding an apartment
  • Start looking early!
  • Tufts Off-Campus Housing Office is an excellent source.
  • Try to see the apartment in person (or send a proxy) before signing the lease.
  • Define your housing preferences before you start your search.
  • Save all of your records related to housing.
  • Review all of the details of your lease before you sign it. Be sure to know your rights.
  • Talk to people living in the area about the area.
  • Connect with current students - they are the best resources about housing and may lead you to an available apartment.
  • The Fletcher Orientation Website is a very useful source for housing information and connecting with other students.
  • If you start really early, get in touch with second-year students who are graduating.
  • If you wait until August, your housing options will be limited.
  • Consider starting your lease in June and subletting your apartment. This allows you to finish your lease in June rather than August.
  • Compare a few places before deciding on one.
  • Don’t spend too much time on places advertising ridiculously low rent - you get what you pay for!
  • Try to see the place (in person or through pictures) before accepting it.
  • Do not feel that you need to rent the first place you see - shop around a bit.
  • You may be able to avoid realtor’s fees by contacting the building management directly.
  • Try to get a place for August 1 (rather than September 1) - this will give you time to move and get settled before classes start.
  • If you want to live with other people, it is beneficial to use the Facebook Admitted Students group to reach out to people and set up initial conversations. Talk to your future classmates about budget, living styles and habits, desired housing distance from campus, etc. Once you have a group of people you want to live with, it is useful to use Medford/Somerville Housing Facebook groups (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1832581053477864), Apartments.com, Craigslist, etc. If you go through a Realtor, you will have to pay a fee, but it ensures a degree of safety and can help avoid scams.
  • In addition to the listed resources for finding housing, the Tufts Off-Campus Housing Facebook group has some good options. A lot goes through the social list. Usually in May, second-years make a spreadsheet of apartments they’re passing down, or available rooms in those apartments. That’s how I ended up finding my place. And of course, the Fletcher Facebook page is by far the best place to find roommates.
  • Give yourself two months to find housing, especially if you’re a Januarian. If you’re starting in the fall, it’s a little harder, because September leases don’t usually open up until July, but I would be looking and getting a sense of what’s available at least two months in advance.
Additional Costs
  • Be clear about what utilities are included or not included in the rent.
  • Having utilities included in your rent will increase your monthly payment, but may be worthwhile in the end considering the cost of utilities.
  • The winters are cold in the Boston area. Plan accordingly for heating and electricity costs. Be sure to ask the landlord for a realistic sense of utility costs.
Location and Transportation
  • Living close to public transportation or the Tufts University Shuttle is a real time saver.
  • Learn about Zipcar if you do not have a car.
  • Be sure to consider the cost of commuting to school versus a cheaper apartment farther from the school.
  • You will pay more if you want to live closer to Davis Square (near the subway).
  • The closer you live to campus, the better since there is so much happening at Fletcher day and night - just look at our Events Calendar.
  • Investigate the MBTA Bus Lines carefully. You might be able to find a reasonably priced apartment that is just a short bus ride away.
  • Be sure to ask about parking availability
Apartments and Roommates
  • Living with other graduate students/Fletcher students makes arranging house schedules much easier.
  • A great place is not worth it if you sense that the landlord will be difficult and not willing to fix problems.
  • Make sure that your apartment has a good work space that is quiet.
  • If possible, meet or connect with potential roommates before committing.
  • Ask about laundry facilities
  • Definitely don’t take the first place you find. Do some comparisons. Ask lots of questions, especially about things like utilities, how the heating works, where laundry is, etc. Try to get a feel of how involved/ helpful your landlord will be, especially if it looks like the apartment is older and might need repairs. Ask about parking as well. Also, be careful if you are living far enough away from campus that you’re reliant on public transport. The T is fairly reliable, but the buses are less so, so build in time for yourself, and make sure you understand how far away you live from public transportation.
  • If you have children, ask landlords up front if the apartment is de-leaded.