Keep in mind time living off campus. If you buy a house and live their all of your probably four years at school (and maybe even after), add the cost of buying plus the cost of living during those years. That's the cost per year, more or less. Or, perhaps you're renting, which means you don't get to resell the house afterward. You should still keep in mind utilities and food costs. Like ucapplicant05 said, it varies a lot upon area. Living in Merced probably costs a lot less than living in Westwood, La Jolla or Berkeley.