Harvard University and the City of Cambridge share a nearly four-hundred-year history, throughout which Cambridge has helped make the University a special place to teach, learn, live, and work. Harvard is committed to partnerships and collaborations that promote equity, enhance the lives of Cambridge residents, expand opportunities to Cambridge Public Schools, support local businesses, and build upon a shared vision of community.

Supporting the Local Economy

As the anchor of Harvard Square, Harvard is a robust contributor to Cambridge’s economy—attracting tourism, providing jobs, generating local spending, and supporting Cambridge-based businesses. The University is also a cultural anchor, providing Cambridge residents with free admission to its museums, including the Harvard Art Museum and Harvard Museum of Natural History.


Harvard has been the largest employer in Cambridge for 21 consecutive years


Cambridge residents employed at Harvard


Spent in construction, supplies, and services in Cambridge in FY20

Harvard’s PILOT and Tax Payments to the City of Cambridge over 10 Years

Image depicts a bar graph showing the ten year history – from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2020 – of Harvard’s payments in lieu of tax and tax payments to the City of Cambridge. It also includes a line graph showing the sum of these payments for the same time period.


In Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) to the City of Cambridge in the last 10 years

Harvard was one of the first organizations to make voluntary PILOT payments to the City of Cambridge.


In taxes paid to the City of Cambridge in the last 10 years

Harvard is the sixth largest taxpayer in the City of Cambridge, paying taxes on the University’s non-exempt property.


Harvard’s stable presence in the City is cited by Moody’s Investors Service as supporting Cambridge’s AAA bond rating. The rating has enabled Cambridge to finance a variety of projects at favorable rates, resulting in savings to taxpayers.

Supporting Cambridge Public Schools

Harvard is committed to partnerships designed to ensure that all Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) students have opportunities to achieve academic success. In addition to student programs, Harvard also seeks to leverage University-wide resources and create opportunities for CPS educators to access professional development, academic coursework, and workshops.


In scholarship aid provided to Harvard College students from Cambridge in last 10 years


Harvard programs are available to students in every CPS school, including elementary schools, upper schools, and the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School


CPS teachers participated in professional development opportunities in 2019

Meeting the Critical Needs of Cambridge Residents

Harvard works closely with Cambridge city and nonprofit partners to deliver programs that help respond to regional challenges—such as food security, access to justice, and affordable housing.


Units of affordable housing created or preserved through the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative in the past 20 years


Cambridge residents received free legal services through Harvard Law School’s Clinical and Pro Bono Programs in 2019


Meals donated by Harvard in partnership with Cambridge-based nonprofit, Food for Free in 2019

Partnering for a Sustainable Future

In 2018, Harvard announced an ambitious path forward to shift campus operations away from fossil fuel use, including two bold, new climate action goals:

  • Fossil fuel–neutral by 2026
  • Fossil fuel–free by 2050


Along with the City of Cambridge and MIT, Harvard is a founding partner of the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future to leverage the combined capacities of government, higher education, and business to help create a healthier, livable, and sustainable City.


Project Teach– Harvard’s Official College & Career Awareness Programs

Project Teach– Harvard’s Official College & Career Awareness Programs

Providing all 7th grade Cambridge Public Schools students the tools to pursue their college and career goals.

Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy

Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy

Serving as Cambridge’s official summer school for high school students.