Meet the Staff: Jeff Morris of Off Campus Student Services

The Emerson community is delighted to welcome our new Assistant Director of Off Campus Student Services, Jeff Morris. Below he provides an overview of how our students may prepare for off-campus life, which is especially timely, as students have started exploring apartment options for the next academic year.


Dear Emerson Families,

Jeff Morris, Coordinator of Student Activities & Student Life CommunicationsHello! My name is Jeff Morris and I am the new Assistant Director of Off Campus Student Services here at Emerson! I wanted to take this time to introduce myself, our office, and what we do to ensure a stress-free and successful housing search off-campus.  With almost 10 years of experience in working with students and their families when it comes to the housing search and off-campus student life, I know that this process can certainly be a daunting one.  That being said, our office is here to be a constant, active resource for students and their families

Starting the Housing Search

There are many ways to begin your housing search, but discussing and considering the following questions will  prepare you to begin speaking with realtors, and ultimately create a more streamlined housing search:

  • What is my budget?
    • Typically, 4 months’ worth of rent will be due upon signing a lease; first months, last months, a security deposit, as well as a realtor/broker fee.  You should expect to be paying $600-1400 in rent per month.
  • What neighborhoods am I interested in?
    • Typically, the closer to Emerson, the more expensive an apartment will be.  Although many students choose to live in Allston/Brighton, Jamaica Plain, and up-and-coming East Boston, Emersonians may be found in all parts of Boston and surrounding communities.  Exploring Boston neighborhoods and their proximity to the MBTA subway, rail and bus system may lead to a perfect match in a previously overlooked neighborhood.
  • Do I want to live with roommates?
    • Roommates will, of course, help cut down the cost of rent, bills, and other costs of living.  We have resources within our office that allows students to connect with one another to find roommates who may be a good fit.
  • What realtor(s) should I be using?
    • Out of the 450+ companies that exist in the city of Boston, our office has narrowed this list down to about 15 companies with which Emerson students have reported success. Please contact our office for this list so you can begin researching which company may be best for you and your student.

Apartment Search and Off-Campus Living Resources

Our office provides several resources for students, including information sessions, housing fairs, and one-on-one/group consultations. We also are in the process of rolling out a comprehensive resource page, apartment database, and roommate finder service in the coming weeks. Please encourage your student to take advantage of all the services we offer during their off campus apartment search and while living in the local community. For more information, please visit

Apartment Search Timetable

Students often feel pressure from rental agents or their peers to sign a lease for a fall semester apartment as early as January. Please remind your student not to rush through the apartment search process, as there are new apartment listings posted every day throughout the year. Some students do sign leases as early as January, but the majority will sign in between March-May of each year, and some will even sign a lease the week they move into the apartment! Please encourage your student to review the many resources available on our website and to attend the information sessions and housing fairs we host in the fall and spring semesters.

OCSS Info. Sessions

Monday (3/13); 6-7pm

Tuesday (3/14); 10-11am

Campus Center – L151

Off Campus Housing Fair

Wednesday (3/22); 3-6pm

Bill Bordy Theater


I hope this brief introduction is able to give you a sense of what the housing search entails, but please do not hesitate to reach out!  If you have specific questions about off-campus housing or student life, please feel free to call Off Campus Student Services at 617-824-7863, email or visit


Jeff Morris, M.Ed


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