Good luck. You will love Santa Cruz.
If you want to be live very close to school, try looking for housing in the Seabright or Harbor Neighborhoods. Housing can be a bit more expensive in these areas, but there are a lot of advantages to these areas for a Five Branches student that might be worth the extra expense.
To look for a house to rent, your best bets are to search Craigslist.org and to contact the various property management companies in Santa Cruz. Feel free to contact us if you need more help. Good luck in your studies!
There are many places, and kinds of places to rent. It depends on how much money you want to spend per month, how much of a deposit you have, and if your credit is good, poor, or you don't have any.
I'm sorry but your question is very generic, which makes it hard to answer for your specific situation. If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to e-mail me.
Lauri Beamish, SFR