Off-Campus Housing

Tuition (in-state)
$36,624 ($13,746)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Housing is not hard to find off campus, but it is very expensive. All off-campus housing is very conveniently located next to campus and close to many stores and restaurants. The school is very helpful in helping students to find apartments and roommates off-campus. They have a website where students may post listings for space they have or need in a room. The school also provides legal help for students dealing with bad landlords. Many students have experiences with bad landlords who try to make questionable charges to their security deposits.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Landlords and safety are fine, and noise/parking isn't a concern as long as you don't live on DP. IV is a beautiful place to live- you're literally on cliffs overlooking the ocean- but it's just that which makes it a bit expensive. Then again.... where else will you be able to live a block from the beach for $650 a month?

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There is always a large selection of off campus apartments available in Isla Vista, which is located directly next to campus. There is also a big range of cost depending on how close you are to the beach as well as amenities. Parking is pretty atrocious. The streets are always packed, and the lots are very limited in space. Safety is a large concern because there have been many incidents of theft.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Read reviews online before going to look places.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of different houses and apartments in Isla Vista

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 87th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Louie Tamayo
Long Beach
Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

They say that living in the dorms is the best experience of your life. This is true, but they forgot to mention that living off campus is just as great, even better. You become nurtured and feel taken care of while living in the dorms, so it may feel quite intimidating when looking for housing in Isla Vista. Here are a few tips to make the process of finding a house easier: First, start early. The best time to look starts in January, but if you’re thinking about getting a spot on oceanside cliffs, then December is your best bet. Two, pick a solid group of friends. Remember that you don’t know what someone’s really like until you share a house. Three, if your housing decisions change at the last minute and you need to find a roommate or need to find housing, the Community Housing Office, located on the third floor of the UCen, can help you. Finally, prepare to pay the price. Housing in Isla Vista is close and convenient to campus, but it comes at a pretty price. The upside is that you will be living in one of the most unique college towns in the nation, surrounded by students door to door, bordering the University and the beach.

Although the majority of continuing students chooses to move to Isla Vista, many decide that the IV scene is not for them. Goleta is composed of primarily quiet residential neighborhoods, a very short drive from campus. The rent in Goleta tends to be cheaper, and some students rent houses similar to those they may have grown up in. A short drive down the freeway takes you to downtown, where older students typically live because of the proximity to jobs and internships, and not to mention the bars. Although intimidating, finding a place to live off campus won’t be that hard, and you can rest assured that you will find a housing option that suits your interests, but remember the closer to the beach, the higher the rent.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
The best time to look for a place in Isla Vista is in January—a year before the corresponding school year.
Popular Areas
  • Downtown Santa Barbara
  • Goleta
  • Isla Vista
Average Rents
  • Studio: $1,000
  • 1 BR: $1,500
  • 2 BR: $2,500

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 165 responses

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

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 163 responses

  • 21% Not very helpful.
  • 0% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 53% Somewhat helpful.
  • 26% Extremely helpful.

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 163 responses

  • 2% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 6% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 67% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 26% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.


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