Housing advice for UC Santa Cruz transfer student

Anyone out there who's kid is at UC Santa Cruz and figured out a good way to get housing on or off campus? Our daughter is likely transferring next fall as a Junior and we hear that there is limited housing for transfer students which means there's a possibility she'll have to find some alternative housing off campus. I think I'm in denial about how it will come together for her, but I understand that even for students that have been there since their freshman year have to find other housing after their sophomore year. I'm curious what other families have been able to find for their kids. Any suggestions appreciated!

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I don’t know about UCSC, but I do know that UC Berkeley similarly lacks sufficient campus housing for all students and has a variety of resources for students seeking housing. There is a website called Cal Rentals where off-campus opportunities are listed. Access is free for students. I imagine UCSC offers something similar. There is also - this is true for every university with which I’ve been affiliated - the less formal system of flyers posted on bulletin boards and lampposts. Sometimes there are specific bulletin boards, sometimes they are scattered across campus and the surrounding town. Takes legwork, but easy enough to do. At the end of the year there is typically an avalanche of these as the rooms of graduating students are opening up.

I would suggest that your daughter, not you, should be the one looking at and contacting listed  openings. She is the one who needs a living situation in which she feels comfortable, not you. Yes, you are likely to be paying for it, but then you set the budget. She needs to meet other students living there to see if she feels like they’re simpatico. If she doesn’t know what she wants, she’ll learn as she sees people and goes to roommate interviews. Her first choice may end up not working out; if so, she’ll look to move with more knowledge about what matters to her in a living situation. You can’t do any of this for her, though. For one, the kids with whom she’d be living want to get to know her, not you, and second, she, not you, needs to get to know them. 

I knew someone who worked in the campus store at Berkeley who told me they would get calls from parents asking where their child could purchase laundry detergent. She always told the parents that she would be happy to talk to their kid about this, but not the parent. Take this to heart. Your job is to support your daughter as she learns how to navigate her world, not to navigate for her.

Good luck!

My son was a transfer student at Santa Cruz about five years ago so this may be dated. The housing situation was a shock -- every bit as scarce and expensive as Berkeley. My son had classmates at UCSC who were living in the woods, or sleeping in their cars, because they couldn't afford even the dorms.  There are dorms/apartments set aside for transfer students so get on the list ASAP for those - see the UCSC website - they get snapped up fast.  My son was already well into his 20's when he transferred and he was unwilling to live in a dorm, a decision he came to regret too late for that to be an option. The campus housing office had listings that were twice what he could pay. He had a very difficult time finding any place at all that was close to his budget and still bikeable to campus: a closet in someone else's bedroom, or a sofa in a living room with no kitchen privileges.  In the two years he was in Santa Cruz, he lived in a tiny converted tool shed that turned out to have major mold issues,  rented a bedroom from a lady with significant mental health issues that he had to flee after only 2 weeks, and eventually he landed a converted basement apartment that was nearly an hour commute each way.  Maybe there are better options now. I hope so!  Plan ahead, is my advice, and have a backup plan.  On the other hand my son absolutely loved living in Santa Cruz and he had a wonderful educational experience there too, that led to graduate study and eventually a career he loves. The housing is impossible though!

Hi, my son was a transfer student who graduated from UCSC this past June. Transfer students are guaranteed on campus housing for one year. They just need to be sure to apply on time. Students in certain need-based programs get priority for an additional year, but most students live off campus their second year after transferring. Santa Cruz' housing market is extremely tight and overpriced, but if they have been meeting people and aren't too picky, they will find something. They should do the online workshop on off campus housing when spring of junior year is approaching,

My daughter is a senior a UCSC. Her first year was Covid at home and sophomore year she was in the dorms. Junior year one of her friends knew another girl whose parents owned a house in Santa Cruz.

This year she is staying at Oceanview Apartments https://www.oceanview-apartments.com. It is expensive. She has a shared room and 2 other roommates and her rent is $1200. It is a very nice place with good management and safe. They have been very happy there.

She had found another house with friends before the apartment but it was not nice, expensive and the landlord was bad. We backed out of the lease and had to hire a lawyer to get the landlord to stop threatening the kids. So be careful out there!