Most students choose to live off campus after their sophomore year (since sophomores are still required to live on campus unless they petition otherwise), and it’s generally pretty convenient. Whitman owns quite a few off-campus houses, and students who want a Whitman-owned house enter into a lottery for specific ones. It’s also pretty easy to find houses around campus that aren’t Whitman-owned that are inexpensive to rent, and many of these houses have been passed down from Whitman students to other Whitman students over the years. Many of the landlords also understand that many Whitman students need places to live and desire off-campus housing as well, so most landlords understand when it comes to students’ needs.
In terms of off-campus housing being worthwhile, rent in Walla Walla is very reasonable, often being cheaper than the housing costs of living on Whitman’s campus (except for having to furnish your off-campus place). A small number of students just don’t bother. Overall, off-campus housing is a popular and easy option, but just make sure to be open-minded about entering the lottery and not too choosy about new, high-quality houses.