Before you begin your search, it will be necessary for you to decide how much you can afford to pay.
Once you have arrived at an amount, don't change it. Nice places have a way of tempting you to live on money you don't have. If you are on financial aid, the allotted dollar amount is $700/month for living expenses for the academic year. Review the Financial Aid budget website for more information. If you share an apartment, you can borrow less money and have less debt at graduation or you can have money for other things. Check the housing survey for current rental estimates.
When you agree to rent an apartment, you will probably be required to pay a security deposit. It will usually be equal to one month's rent. The deposit is kept by the landlord to protect him/her from any damage you may cause while living there. When you move out, your landlord is obligated to return the deposit within 21 days, minus any funds withheld to repair damages. If the landlord does withhold funds, he or she is required to give you an itemized list of the damages and the amount withheld. To protect yourself from damages for which you are not responsible, ask for an inventory and assessment list. Check the apartment carefully before renting it.