Published: Sept. 26, 2019

housing on the hill

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 2020-2021 academic year will be available later this semester.

It may seem early, but now is a good time for your student to start thinking about where they’d like to live next year. Many students will sign leases around fall break in November, so we recommend giving plenty of time to research and prepare before signing a lease. As your student begins their search, here are a few tips and resources from Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations (OCH&NR) to share with them.

Prepare for the search

This is a great time for your student to develop skills in being an informed consumer. Before searching for available rentals, encourage your student to put together a budget and have a price range in mind of how much they are willing to pay for rent and utilities. Ralphie’s List, OCH&NR’s online rental database, can be a tremendous asset for a student’s search.

Research properties and commutes

Your student can use Ralphie’s List to search for available apartments, townhomes, condos and houses in the Boulder area. They can search by neighborhood, price, number of rooms and other filters. Popular Boulder neighborhood areas for students include The Hill, Martin Acres, East Aurora, Goss Grove and North Boulder.

With many transportation options available, encourage your student to research properties throughout the Boulder area. They could even look in neighboring communities like 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 listings 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.

Attend a CU Housing Fair

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

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

Understand lease agreements

When your student finds a place they are interested in renting, they can get legal advice on any rental concerns they may have. Students can make an appointment with Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations’ attorney to get a free lease review before signing. Parents and family members are always welcome to take part in these legal advising appointments (whether in person or over the phone), but please note that a CU student is required to be present for the appointment.


As your student considers who their roommates will be next year, they should be aware of the City of Boulder occupancy limits, which states a maximum of 3 or 4 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

Your student can complete 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.