Off-Campus Housing

San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Most places are pretty close to campus and very student-oriented. Most people move off campus after their first year, so the city is prepared for that with plenty of off-campus student housing.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Nearly everybody lives off campus after freshman year. With that being said, it's expensive and often run down.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are a lot of options to choose from as far as apartments go, some more geared to students than others. Finding a house can be a real pain if that is your plan. Also, rent here is almost never cheap.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I was able to find off-campus housing close to school, low in cost, and overall satisfying very fast, especially since I was applying early.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: No experience with off campus housing.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 130th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amy Herman
Burbank CA
Liberal Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

There are options for students who wish to live on campus all four years; however, few students take advantage of them beyond their second year. Come the start of a student's third year, he or she is usually ready for the new adventure of living off campus. Living off campus has some additional responsibilities (like buying toilet paper and cleaning the kitchen), but being able to park near your front door is by far one of the best things about it. Laundry facilities are generally more convenient, just based on the fact that they're closer. There are lots of townhomes and apartments near campus, as well as a decent selection of houses. Craigslist and word of mouth are by far the two best ways to secure housing. The more expensive areas are right next to campus and in the center of the city near the mission. 

A couple of downfalls to living off campus include the need to secure a roommate yourself. Housing off campus is much older than on-campus housing and can sometimes look it. For this reason, it's important to be in constant communication, as to avoid conflict. Be sure to do a thorough walk-through before moving in to make sure that everything is up to standard. It can also be hard to agree on a location, especially if it's off the beaten path (e.g., not on the bus route). Living with someone is a great way to test a friendship. Though more limited than the ever-present RAs or CAs, there are counseling and mediation services available (through the health center) if need be. Another downfall is the commute to campus. It can take longer to get through campus and find a parking spot. Be prepared: If you have class at the popular times (9 a.m. or 10 a.m., 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., etc.), you will sit in your car for a while.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
Popular Areas
  • Foothill Boulevard
  • Grand Avenue
Average Rents
  • Studio: $650
  • 1 BR: $800
  • 2 BR: $1,000

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 126 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Ease of obtaining/process
  • Landlords
  • Parking
  • Proximity to campus
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Variety

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 125 responses

  • 1% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 2% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 78% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 19% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 125 responses

  • 47% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 44% Somewhat helpful.
  • 9% Extremely helpful.
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