Got into an MBA at MIT Sloan? Congratulations, now it’s time to find where to live. We wrote this unofficial guide to summarize the popular housing options at MIT Sloan, their pros, cons, and proximity to popular Sloanie spots.
Disclaimer: This article was written by MBA graduates, not lawyers. We strongly recommend not relying only on the advice below and consulting with a lawyer and your employers before going forward. The purpose of the article is to lay out the options that past MBAs have taken.
A Bird’s Eye View
Before we get into the details, here is a map-format summary of the popular housing spots for MIT MBAs, and some important nearby facilities.
Living on campus has very clear advantages, especially if you’re coming in not knowing anyone. You live with classmates, meet new friends from across MIT, and pay less.
The Warehouse (Single)
The Warehouse is a popular choice for international MBA singles (some non internationals live there too). With monthly rate at under $1,600 you get a large studio (“efficiency” studio), with private kitchen, bath and a bed. Studios are the only option at this building, unless you are an RA and get a fancy apartment (but that is typically reserved for non-MBAs who live at the complex for multiple years).
The Warehouse is reserved for 1st year graduate students. You can only live in the Warehouse during your first year. Then you will have to move off campus.
Every room is furnished with a queen sized bed, a sofa, a cabinet, and a desk.
The warehouse has a large and fully equipped shared kitchen, a game room, and a common room with a pool table, ping pong table, and other rooms. There’s also a small and limited gym at the bottom floor. At some times of the year you can get to the rooftop where there is tables, seating and a nice view.
There are also washing and drying machines at the bottom floor. You can pay for them with your student card (which you can charge online with “MIT Cash”). There is a study room next to the washing area, but you can also set up a notification once the washing machine is done.
Around the warehouse
- Third Ear: A bar where lots of students from all MIT schools hang out, is right next door (At Ashdown). They offer cheap cold beer, wings, and a karaoke nights. Sloanies don’t go there too often, but early on you will meet international Sloanies hang out there, especially single folks.
- MIT Zesiger Sports and fitness center is a short walk away. The Zesiger Sports and fitness center offers an incredible gym, pools, basketball courts, indoor soccer fields, an Ice arena, a golf clinic, outdoor fields, and many other facilities and classes. It’s perfect and it’s just a walk away (5-10 minutes). Best part? It’s free for MIT students.
- MIT Stratton Student Center is about a 10 minute walk away. You won’t go there too often, but to get your discounted subway (T) card or an MIT Credit Union loan – you might have too.
- Grocery stores are a little annoying. While there is a tech shuttle to Wholefoods, Costco, and even Trader Joes, the shuttles times are limited in frequency and don’t always work with your busy MBA schedule. The nearest ones for walk are about a 10 minutes away which feels a lot more when you are carrying bags. Amazon Fresh or Instacart will soon become your best friends.
Your best bet is to get to school using the free MIT Tech Shuttle. It’s free for all MIT students, and will drop you 1-2 minutes away from the Sloan Campus. The tech shuttle has two schedules – morning and evening. The time and frequency vary by the time of day, but there is an app that lets you know where the busses are and their ETA at any given moment.
A summer alternative is to own a bicycle or rent one. You can get a Blue Bikes membership for a discounted price as an MIT student.
Unfortunately, you will feel the distance when you’d want to visit friends in Central or Boston, especially after the bus hours of operation. In these cases you can walk to central (15 minutes) and get the Subway (T) which will take you almost everywhere. But, when it’s cold, maybe your best option is to get a an app-based ride, at least from the Warehouse to the T.
Ashdown is basically the same as the Warehouse. It’s located right accross the street and offers the same price ranges for efficiency studios. However, Ashdown also offers the option of roomates with 2-3 bedroom apartments and suites for the ranges of $1,050-$1,450 per month.
Unlike the Warehouse, Ashdown is not limited to first year graduate students. However, less MIT Sloan students choose/get to live there.
Like the warehouse, every room is furnished. However in many cases the beds are smaller than queen size, which is a deal breaker for many. We have seen cases where students brought their own mattress and hacked a solution, but it wasn’t always pretty.
Eastgate’s proximity to E62, the MIT Sloan main campus building, is what makes it the most popular choice for MIT Sloan couples and young parents. Especially internationals. East gate offers one and two-bedroom options for ranges of $1,650-$2,200 per month. Only couples and couples with children can apply for housing at Eastgate.
Eastgate is known for its terrible elevators (but maybe it got fixed since we wrote this). When you get to the penthouse, there are facilities such as a study room, washing and drying machines, and a room to host gatherings. The outside area has two large BBQ gas grills, seating and tables over the grass. There is no building gym.
- Sloan Campus – it’s right there!
- The T – it’s also right there. Being so close to the T means that you can go grocery shopping or visit friends Central Square at your convenience.
- Kendall Square has a lot of food options to offer, from a casual lunch at Champions sports bar to a great pizza pie at Za! Firebrand Saints used to be the common after class drink point for many Sloanies, but it was recently closed due to construction. We have no doubt that Sloanies will quickly find a nearby alternative.
- Alumni Pool and Wang Fitness Center (5-10 minutes walk away) has a great gym that offers all the equipment one would need. The gym is smaller than Zesiger’s and sometimes you’ll need to add your name to a waiting list for the treadmills. Usually, however, you can go about your workout without much delay. Like Zesiger – it’s free for MIT students.
- The Mall is about 10-15 minutes walk away and offers the Apple Store, Best Buy, Macy’s, H&M, Superdry, A&F, Ann Taylor, and more.
Central Square (aka “Mental Square”, a nickname by some locales which we do not endorse) offers the flexibility of living out off campus, next to the Subway (T) at affordable prices. Many students choose to partner up with 1-5 roommates and rent in that area. As a result, most house parties happen in the Central Square area. The prices range widely depending on the number of roommates and exact location, but you can expect to pay around $1,600 if you are living with one roommate in a large 2 bedroom, or less if you choose to live with more.
In Central Square
- Drinks and Dining: For an unknown reason the Mad Monkfish had become a popular spot for Sloanie core teams to meet. In terms of drinks, there are a few very popular spots for Sloanies: The Asgard, where many Ocean gatherings happen (Oceans are MIT Sloan Cohorts, there are 6 per class). For more casual meetups many Sloan students choose The Field, which is right around the subway (T) stop. The Brick & Mortar is a speakeasy where many Sloanies are surprised to bump into other Sloanies during their first or second dates.
- Gyms: There are plenty of gyms, yoga clubs, dance classes and more in Central Square, but they will cost you extra. If you don’t mind the 3 minute ride, go to the T and walk from Kendall Square to the Alumni gym for 5 more minutes.
So why “Mental Square”? Parts of Central Square are considered a little shady because of the relatively large homeless population. However, MIT Sloanies who lived there tell us that it never bothered them.
Beacon Hill (and around it)
Beacon Hill and its surroundings is a popular choice for MIT Sloan students who want to get a feel for the city. While due to the higher prices (+$200-$300 over Central Square) for older apartments it’s not a very common choice, some students who live in Cambridge choose to move there in the second year, and vice versa. If you’re willing to pay a little extra there are also high-end towers in the vicinity that offer luxury living.
Around Beacon Hill
- The Charles/MGH Subway (T) stop is right there and takes you right to campus. There are many other T stops in the area. But, it’s annoying if these are not on the “red line” which gets you to Sloan, Central Square, and Harvard Square. The “green line” is known to be slower, and you’ll have to switch trains to get to campus.
- BHP Pub is where Sloanies go out to drink every Wednesday (yearly tradition). If you live there it’ll be very hard for you to miss a Wednesday.
- Boston Commons is a beautiful and large park where you can hang out with friends or just walk around and enjoy the green.
- Boylston street and the parallel streets are about a 15 minutes walk away and offer great restaurants, shops, bars, and cafes. There are even better restaurants in Boston that are a short App ride away. One favorite pick is the Barcelona Wine Bar which offers outstanding tapas and a very long waiting list if you haven’t booked a table.
Harvard Square is considered a much nicer area than Central Square. Despite being right on the subway (T), not many Sloanies choose to live there due to the distance from everyone else.
The area has everything Central Square has to offer, but with better restaurants, more bars, and more events. We’ll make one worthy call out about Waypoint. Waypoint offers a wide menu of high quality food, and a great raw seafood bar.
Occasionally Sloanies will choose to go to the “Hong Kong” nightclub for their famous tiki drink buckets and fun (but lousy) music. The Hong Kong nightclub is located in Harvard Square.