There are some big complexes pretty close to school. The Linda Vista area isn't that nice though. I would get to San Diego a little early and scout out the neighborhoods. You could live on the beach, University Heights, North Park, Claremont, or whatever area you felt comfortable in. Also, you can do better than $800-1200 per month. I rented someone's nice condo and paid $1150, which was a little dumb because I could have saved a lot of money by having out with a roommate. $600-$700 a month with a roommate will get you a nice place.