Places to Live
Berkeley offers a wide variety of places for students to live in the area. It's important to think about what works best for you as you're thinking about where you want to live. Here's a brief description of a few of them:
On Campus Housing: probably the most obvious option; you apply at the end of the school year for a limited number of on campus spots.
Pros: proximity to campus, you don't have to find your own roommates or worry about a bad landlord, school-year long leases so you don't have to worry about subletting if you're gone for the summer, dining halls included in dorm-style if you don't want to cook/buy groceries, can be easier for people on financial aid
Cons: high prices for the area, you may be matched with people you don't like, limited number of spots so you may not want to put all your hope in getting it, unlikely you'll get the exact housing you want unless you have Regents
Co-ops: Houses and apartments scattered around campus (mostly concentrated on Northside) in which inhabitants are collectively responsible for various house responsibilities (cleaning, cooking, etc). If you're interested, apply early! Living in a co-op in the summer can also help your chances to get in.
Pros: very low cost compared to most places around Berkeley, prioritizes low income students, each house has its own culture, many are very accommodating of vegetarian lifestyles, school year/semester long leases available
Cons: not everyone's cup of tea to live with a lot of people
Off Campus Apartments: Rent an apartment in Berkeley. Most high-rise apartment buildings are concentrated in the Downtown Berkeley area
Pros: can really have your own space, wide variety of housing options depending on your budget/needs
Cons: need a group, definitely a big learning curve to figure out how to rent an apartment, likely need a guarantor (someone who vouches for you to be able to pay the rent since you have no credit/assets, usually a parent)
Dorm-style Off Campus Housing: Some dorm style apartments exist around campus. These are great if you don't have a roommate, are ok with a dorm style (shared rooms, bathroom, kitchen) arrangement, but they tend to be more expensive than a typical off campus apartment.