Off-Campus Housing

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

Off-Campus Housing: I haven't lived off campus or applied for off campus housing, but I've heard it can be hard if you don't look early enough. Most people already know where their living.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I love living off-campus because it allows your to be more independent financially and learn to manage your time more-wisely through self-discipline. The freedom is completely worth it, and I don't feel so cramped or in prison like I did on campus (the prison-like feel referring to the interior of the buildings). However, I will say that it is harder to spend time with your friends and classmates, and I miss all of the free events and programs that were offered in on-campus housing.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I've only lived on campus.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There is plenty of off-campus housing, from big houses for 5+ to apartments and studios. There are many apartments for students near campus and near the downtown area, but it's also common for groups of friends to rent a nicer house together across town. SLO is a college town, so students live everywhere.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Only have lived off campus and I enjoy it. Rent is not to bad and I am not far from campus at all.


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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 118 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 119 responses

  • 1% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 3% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 77% 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 118 responses

  • 49% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 42% Somewhat helpful.
  • 9% Extremely helpful.
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