How to Find Apartments Near Santa Monica College

Plenty of students and adults just like yourself have chosen to continue their education at Santa Monica College. This thriving community college is the leader in transferring students from their campuses to USC, UCLA, and LMU. Applying to SMC is easy with applications accepted year round. 

Santa Monica College (SMC) has multiple campuses that canvas the city located near Marina Del Rey, CA. Each campus is just blocks away from the beach and exciting activities that only a sun-drenched California location can offer.  

While SMC is obviously the place to be, the school doesn’t offer any on-campus housing options. Finding an apartment near Santa Monica College isn’t too tricky, though, with multiple options and locations. Learn more about how to find campus apartments near Santa Monica College this year.

Find Your Campus Location

There are 6 total campus locations at SMC, which play a part in deciding where you’ll want to live. While the Santa Monica College campuses are not far from each other, you’ll likely want an apartment somewhere near the campus where you’ll be spending most of your time.

Main Campus

The central campus location for SMC sits at 1900 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. The main campus is the largest in size and class offerings. Paid parking is allowed on campus with a permit that costs $85 per semester.


Satellite Campuses

There are a total of 5 satellite campuses in the Santa Monica area for SMC.

One of the many Santa Monica satellite campuses includes the airport campus, which is located at 2800 Airport Avenue. The airport campus offers an intimate setting with fewer students per class as a smaller campus. Students in the Mentor Arts Program and the Ceramics Program primarily use this location in Santa Monica.

As the largest satellite campus, the SMC Bundy campus sits at 3171 South Bundy Drive in Los Angeles. A modern 4-story building is the star of this campus that offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and lush landscaping. Bundy campus stretches out over 10.4 acres of land near Santa Monica and plays host to the nursing program, continuing education classes, teacher training program, and general education courses.

Future professionals in the design and entertainment industry will take classes at the Center for Media and Design located at 1660 Stewart Street in Santa Monica. This campus sits in the middle of the entertainment business district, making it a perfect fit for students earning their degrees in this field. The Center for Media and Design also houses the student newspaper, radio station, and the Interaction Design bachelor’s degree program.

Older adults have a wide range of free classes to take at the Emeritus Campus of SMC. This campus, located at 1227 Second Street in Santa Monica, is one of the largest programs of its kind in the state. Over 160 free classes in multiple subjects and interests keep the Emeritus Campus a lively place in downtown Santa Monica.

Students interested in the performing arts will want to live in a Santa Monica apartment near the SMC Performing Arts Center. Formally known as the Madison campus, the Performing Arts Center sits at 1310 11th Street in Santa Monica. The location includes an art gallery, stage access, and general education courses as well. 

Choose Your Transportation

Knowing how you will get to class, as well as any other locations like work, is another essential part of finding the right apartment in Santa Monica.

By Foot, Bicycle, or Scooter

Many students walk to class, and the sunny California climate means that these walks often lack rainstorms and bad weather. Walking from your nearby campus apartment to class is also a great way to get in some steps and exercise as well. You could also bike or use a scooter to get around campus and town.

By Car

Owning your own car means that you have more freedom in terms of where and when you can get around Santa Monica. It is important to note that the Main Campus and the Center for Media and Design require paid permit parking. The Performing Arts Center and Bundy parking are free, but a virtual permit is required. Up to 3 hours of parking is free at the Emeritus Campus, and the Airport has free parking available. 

By Shuttle, Bus, or Rail

Once you are on a campus, you can easily get around using the SMC shuttle. Except for Emeritus, all of the satellite campuses offer a free shuttle bus to the main campus. Students can also take the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus service to the main campus as well. The Santa Monica metro rail is also an option for getting around town.

Make a Wish List

Does your ideal Santa Monica apartment have a particular style? Are you looking for a modern unit closer to Marina Del Rey, CA with higher rent, or are you okay with a budget-friendly older unit? Many apartments offer extra amenities like gym access and outdoor living space to break up those study sessions. Understanding and determining what you want in a Santa Monica apartment is an important part of finding the perfect unit while you attend SMC. 

Another critical part of finding apartments for rent includes the size of the apartment itself. Are you okay with a studio apartment if you want to live alone? Would a one-bedroom unit or multi-bedroom apartment work if you have roommates? Living with others is a great way to reduce rent and living expenses, and it’s fun as well! 

Understanding lease terms is vital to your search for units near Santa Monica College. Most apartments require a 12-month lease term, while others may include a 9-month lease option with a break over the summer. Deposits are often required when signing a lease to cover any future damage of the apartment. Additional amenities may also play a role in higher rent costs.

Set a Budget

Students at SMC often choose the school because it is such a great value compared to other 4-year universities. SMC students who are California residents pay only $46 per unit each semester. This means that a student taking 12 units pays just over $1,000 per year for school! No wonder so many students take their undergraduate requirement courses at SMC. 

The low cost of school at SMC means that the most significant cost of school will be housing, but there are plenty of campus apartment options in the area. Setting a budget for the year is essential so that you can find apartments that won’t break the bank. Compare your budget against your wish list to determine which apartment will work best for you.

Finding apartments for rent for your new life in Santa Monica is an essential step to starting your education. Making a wish list is an excellent way to determine what you need in your UCLA off-campus housing. Make sure that you also account for the campus location, transportation, and budget to find the perfect apartment as well. Take advantage of SMC's prestige and price point to get started with your degree this year!

Kristina Phelan
How to Find Apartments Near Santa Monica College

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