With the cost of living in Irvine reportedly among the highest in the nation, off-campus housing even remotely close to campus is going to cost more than just a pretty penny. However, off-campus apartments are very high quality and very desirable. Apparently, the people at IAC (Irvine Apartment Communities, the company that runs most of the nearby apartment complexes) set the bar high for the price of living in safe, sweet luxury. The price of living in the dorms isn’t much better, since the University still takes an arm and a leg for those blasted meal plans freshman year.
Fear not, however. Hope lies within apartments in neighboring cities, such as Huntington Beach, where the cost of living is cheaper, if only marginally. Splitting the room cost with a former dorm buddy will make rent more affordable, so scrape up some friends and some cash while apartment hunting. Also, take into consideration the fact that driving back and forth to campus every day will add more to your cost of living, and once you get to campus, you’ll have to find a parking space. But, overall, living off campus can work, and if you have the resources to find and pay for a good place, you can’t beat the independence.