Published: Sept. 26, 2019
Students visit tables at the Off-Campus Housing Fair

It may seem early since you are probably just getting used to life at CU, but now is the time to start thinking about where you’d like to live next year. Many students will sign leases around fall break in November, so there’s time to research and prepare before signing a lease. As you begin your search, here are a few tips and resources from Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations.

Prepare for the search

As you explore begin your search, do some research. Create a budget that includes what you can afford for rent, utilities, internet, etc. Look at public transportation options. Check out the crime rates, and ask other students about their experiences living in their neighborhoods.

Research properties and commutes

Search for available student apartments, townhomes, condos and houses in the Boulder area with Ralphie’s List, CU’s official rental database. Popular Boulder neighborhood areas for students include The Hill, Martin Acres, East Aurora, Goss Grove and North Boulder. You can search by neighborhood, price, number of rooms and other filters. Ralphie’s List also has a feature to find roommates.

With many transportation options available students, research properties throughout the Boulder area. You could even look in neighboring communities such as Longmont, Superior, Louisville or Lafayette.

Many students commute to campus with their free student bus pass, and RTD public transit has routes that serve all of Boulder and nearby communities. Ralphie’s List postings can provide you info on which bus lines you could use to get to campus, along with how long it might take to walk or drive from your potential new home to campus.

Living on campus

Returning undergrad students can apply to live on campus in the residence halls or Bear Creek Apartments in Williams Village. More details about the application process and deadlines to apply for the 2020–21 academic year will be available later this semester.

Attend a CU Housing Fair

Attend the free upcoming CU Housing Fairs to meet with off-campus property managers, city offices and vendors:

  • Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom
  • Dec. 4, 4–7 p.m., Village Center
  • Jan. 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom

Understand lease agreements

When you find a place you are interested in renting, get legal advice on any rental concerns you may have. Students can make an appointment with attorney Bruce Sarbaugh through Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations to get a free lease review before signing.


As you consider who your roommates will be next year, make sure you’re aware of the city of Boulder occupancy limits, which states a maximum of three or four unrelated individuals living together. Both tenants and property owners can be subject to violations of over-occupancy and up to a $2,000 per day fine.

Take the online Off-Campus Living Orientation

Take the Off-Campus Living Orientation to prepare for life off campus, learn about city ordinances and find ways to get involved in the Boulder community. This online course takes about 15–20 minutes to complete.

Learn more about off-campus living.