We start a Facebook group for each incoming class (since the whole world seems to revolve around Facebook now!). It gives our incoming a class a chance to connect with one another, and it gives us a chance to answer questions over the summer, too. The main activity in the Facebook group, however, is the search for housing and roommates. The group is valuable for that purpose alone.
I remember when my family considered moving to Malibu, and the price and availability of housing was one of our main concerns. We chose to live in on-campus housing, which worked great for us, but it was good to learn after our move to Malibu that there are a variety of housing options.
When counseling incoming students, I suggest answering the following series of questions in determining how to proceed:
1. Do you want to live on campus or off campus?
2. What price is right for you?
3. What type of place do you want? (e.g., rent a room from a family; live alone; share an apartment with roommates)
4. Where do you want to live? (“through the canyon” or “along the coast”)
Once those questions are answered, I share the following advice on how to go get the place that will work for them:
1. For on-campus housing, contact Housing & Residence Life at http://www.pepperdine.edu/housing
2. For roommate searches, join the Facebook group, plus add your name to the “Roommates Wanted” list in the admissions office by sending an email to email@example.com
3. For “rooms to rent,” drop by the admissions office (or email firstname.lastname@example.org your price, type, and location parameters) to peruse a large binder of rooms/apartments to rent
4. To search online, try:
- Hotpads.com (reportedly the best overall website to search)
- Westsiderentals.com (reportedly the best website for places in Santa Monica)
- Places4Students.com (a website for people renting out rooms to students)
Assistant Dean for Student Life