It's easy to find apartments and houses to rent in Atlanta. What's difficult is weeding through the hundreds of options you have and making sure you find the right fit for your budget. Pricey studios and mansions that dot upper Midtown and Buckhead can be intimidating, but look hard enough and you'll find something less expensive. Some options are within walking distance from campus, but most require some form of transportation. Lots of students ride bikes, drive cars, or take MARTA, the bus system that has stations convenient to lots of different neighborhoods. Most students actually wind up staying farther from Downtown, in other neighborhoods like Candler Park or Little Five Points, or on streets or commerce centers near North Avenue or Atlantic Station.
The choice to live off campus is a common one. A large portion of Georgia State is made up of commuting students, but since the dorms are fairly new, limited in size, and somewhat expensive, those that don't want to live at home often rent apartments or houses for the year. Availability is hardly ever an issue, as there are tons of complexes that rent year-round. Since Atlanta isn't a ghost town between semesters, staying in the city over the summer or during breaks isn't an issue, either; it's a fun place to explore if you pick the right neighborhood.