Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost anything to participate in FCU?

No! Fall Clean-Up is a paid on-campus employment opportunity. In 2020, the pay rate is $14.00/hour. Students can expect to earn a little over $400 before taxes. Nevertheless, while the paycheck is nice, most students find the camaraderie and teamwork even more rewarding. 

Please note that a couple of optional activities, such as movie night in Boston, do cost $10 to $15, although some financial assistance is available. You may also want to bring some money for public transit and other incidental expenses.

Are meals provided during Fall Clean-Up?

Yes! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided every day.

Is housing provided during the week of Fall Clean-Up?

Housing is provided to all students. During Fall Clean-Up, students live in one of the dorms in Harvard Yard. You will have the standard dorm amenities of an extra-long twin bed, a desk, a chair, and a dresser but are responsible for bringing your own bed linens and pillows.

I am an international student. Am I able to work in the U.S.?

Work eligibility and work authorization depend on your visa type. Please direct questions about visas and work authorization to the Harvard International Office (HIO). Throughout the summer, we will work closely with the HIO to help incoming students begin their on-campus employment. Unfortunately, if you do not have a valid work authorization for on-campus employment, you cannot be hired for Fall Clean-Up. 

Can I miss a day of Fall Clean-Up?

No, students must participate in every day of Fall Clean-Up. 

Can I really not work if I forget to bring supporting documents for my hiring paperwork?

We legally cannot let you work if you arrive to campus without the original, unexpired supporting documents we need to process your hiring paperwork. In past years, students who have forgotten items such as a Social Security card have had to have someone back home ship these documents overnight to the Dorm Crew Office. If we do not receive these documents, before work begins, you cannot start working!

Please carefully review our hiring paperwork instructions and email with any questions. 

Am I really limited to one suitcase and a carry-on?

Yes, we must limit you to one suitcase and one carry-on bag. There is very limited storage available during pre-orientation week and there simply is not enough space to accommodate all your belongings. Most FCU participants will have their parents deliver the rest of their things on first-year move-in day. You may also ship items to your Harvard Yard Mail Center address for pickup beginning on move-in day.

What time should I arrive for Fall Clean-Up?

This question has not been updated for FCU 2020

The Fall Clean-Up registration desk is open from #am to #pm on Tuesday, August 20. Please do your best to arrive during this window. If you are absolutely not able to arrive during this time, please email to see if we are able to accommodate your circumstances.

How much money will I earn? How many hours will we work?

The pay rate for Fall Clean-Up is $14.00/hour, and participants will work approximately 30-32 hours over the course of Fall Clean-Up. You can expect to earn around $425 before taxes if you work all 30-32 hours. If you continue working for Dorm Crew during the fall semester, the pay rate for term-time Dorm Crew jobs is $16.25/hour.

What is the work like?

The work during Fall Clean-Up is challenging. Dorm Crew takes great care to preserve the aged beauty of Harvard's historic housing and create a first impression for undergraduates and their families worthy of the University's steadfast commitment to excellence. Participants may be asked to help with any number of common tasks such as vacuuming, mopping, and arranging furniture. If you've never done this before, don't worry! Our expert captains will train you thoroughly for every task you will undertake.

Most students find the work rewarding and enjoy the unique, behind-the-scenes peek at campus. Most importantly, FCU participants often develop a strong sense of community and friendship with their classmates while bonding over the work of Fall Clean-Up.

Can I miss part of FCU for a religious observance?

Absolutely! The Harvard community welcomes students from all religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions. You are certainly permitted to miss part of FCU for a religious observance. We ask that you please notify us in advance of your absence using the form below.

Religious observance registration form

Information regarding the times and places of worship for a variety of traditions can be found online at

Can I receive mail during Fall Clean-Up? Can I ship my belongings to Harvard before Fall Clean-Up?

You CANNOT pick up mail or packages at your Harvard Yard Mail Center address during Fall Clean-Up. However, you may begin shipping items to your Harvard Yard Mail Center address in mid-August. You will be able to retrieve your mail and packages from the Harvard Yard Mail Center at move-in.

Please refer to the Dean of Students Office website for additional information about receiving mail and packages on campus.