Off-Campus Housing

Berkeley, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$35,752 ($12,874)
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
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1 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Some places are old and dirty and they are too expensive! It is stupid how they charge for parking garages!

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: It is very expensive to live in Berkeley overall. A one bed one bath apartment can cost $2000.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Pros:

1. You'll probably be in off-campus housing after freshman year anyway, unless you're a transfer student.

2. A ton of neighborhoods within walking distance, with a lot of good restaurants.

3. Many apartment complexes have students, so there are student amenities - laundry machines, year-long leases that end in June, etc.

4. Prices can be somewhat high, but much cheaper than dorms. Plus, you won't have to always use meal points in Crossroads!


1. Some neighborhoods might be unsafe. There are robberies and muggings, but mostly be aware of your surroundings and try to use campus transportation at night if you're alone (BearWalk).

2. Parking is expensive. Any street parking needs a permit or it has a 2-4 hour meter limit. Covered parking is around $100 per month.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I live off-campus and I love it! Walking back at night is definitely a little scary but my apartment isn't too far so it isn't bad. Berkeley also has a service called BearWalk that you can totally use to your advantage!

1 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Expensive rent, lack of parking, sketchy landlords, at least near campus. If you have a car or are willing to bus, consider looking in areas further from campus. It's typically cheaper, and the landlords are more trustworthy.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 290th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Meegan Brooks
Granite Bay, CA
Political science
View all previous student authors

The off-campus housing search at Berkeley isn’t easy. Students complain about expensive rent, costly utility bills, competitive seekers, and lazy landlords. In addition, few end up in locations to their exact liking, but all say that they’re grateful that they even found a place. The demand for housing from the 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students drives up the rent prices to ridiculous levels. Berkeley is very aware of the housing crunch and provides several services to help students in their transition from dorms to apartment life. Many students cite the importance of planning early and at least thinking about post-dorm living options in the early spring if planning on moving in the early fall. Start even earlier if you want to move in at the beginning of summer.

A couple of students said they lucked out and found their places at the last moment, weeks or days before school began. While you might see “Roommate Wanted” signs in the bathrooms at school throughout the year, finding a new place to live at the last minute or during the school year is time-consuming and adds a lot of mental stress. Try to find people you’d possibly like to live with early on, talk to them about possible plans, and start visiting places as soon as ones that interest you pop up. Try to stop yourself from committing to the first place that seems “okay” out of laziness or fear that you may have no other options. Talk to other friends who are already living off campus and ask for names and numbers of people they may know who are graduating or renting out their place.


Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
December–March, if looking for summer/fall housing
Popular Areas
  • Below Telegraph
  • Hearst Avenue
  • Oakland
  • Piedmont Avenue
Average Rents
  • 1 BR: $1,200
  • 2 BR: $1,500
  • Studio: $925

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 147 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 148 responses

  • 1% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 8% 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.
  • 14% 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 148 responses

  • 50% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 45% Somewhat helpful.
  • 5% Extremely helpful.


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