Campus housing shortage leaves more than 2,300 UC San Diego students on waiting lists for beds

UC San Diego's Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood is pictured under construction last year.
UC San Diego’s Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, pictured under construction last year, will house 2,000 students but won’t be fully completed until 2024.
(Gary Robbins / The San Diego Union-Tribune )

University officials say they’ve negotiated discounted rates with an off-campus hotel in La Jolla in hopes of easing the situation.


Large numbers of students have again ended up on waiting lists for campus housing at UC San Diego, which is struggling to meet demand as it rapidly grows in a region where off-campus lodging is in short supply and very expensive.

The La Jolla university said 2,343 undergraduate, graduate and professional students are on housing lists for the fall quarter, which begins Monday, Sept. 25.

The shortage most directly affects undergraduates, who account for 1,919 of the students needing a bed. That’s about 650 students higher than the undergraduate bed shortage that occurred two years ago.

More than 3,100 people are on waiting lists as the La Jolla campus grapples with more growth.

July 18, 2021

Roughly 3,200 students were on waiting lists in 2021, a shortage that triggered a lot of anger among students and their parents.

The new shortage “is causing anxiety among students because it’s so hard to find apartments off campus,” said Raymond Tran, editor of the UCSD Guardian, a campus newspaper. “You might have to go far away from campus and take a 40-minute bus ride to get here.”

Tran said he and three other students will collectively pay almost $4,000 a month this year to rent a two-bedroom apartment 10 to 15 minutes from campus.

UCSD had been planning a full fall opening of its Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, a student village that will feature 2,000 beds. But school officials say the $565 million project fell behind schedule, largely because of supply chain problems and a wet winter. Only 430 of the beds will be ready for the fall. More will likely be available during the spring quarter.

TDLLN, near La Jolla Village Drive and North Torrey Pines Road, includes five buildings ranging from nine to 21 stories tall. Along with the student housing, the project includes a conference center, hotel rooms, classrooms and retail.

UC San Diego had more than 42,000 students last fall.
UC San Diego, which had more than 42,000 students last fall, has more than 2,300 students on housing waiting lists for this fall’s quarter.
(Gary Robbins / The San Diego Union-Tribune )

UCSD said it has negotiated discounted rental rates for an unspecified number of students at the Residence Inn, an off-campus hotel on Gilman Drive in La Jolla. The rates apply only if students are willing to stay at least 90 days.

Similar housing problems have plagued many of the eight other University of California campuses that serve undergraduates. At the Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz campuses, some students ended up living in cars, vans or hotels last year.

At UCSD, enrollment has increased by about 12,500 students over the past decade, surpassing the 42,000 mark. Campus officials say enrollment could reach 50,000 within a decade, making UCSD among the largest universities in the western United States.

— La Jolla Light staff contributed to this report.