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The 529 plan is versatile in the types of expenses that it can be used for, such as computers, books, etc. As far as room and board is concerned, "qualified education expenses" (definition for 529 plan) can include reasonable cost of room and board for a beneficiary who is at least a 1/2 time student. However, there is a limitation, and the amount for room and board cannot be more than a certain amount (details on page 49 of IRS pub 970: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf )
Here are some links to more information about non-campus or off-campus housing and how to determine the amount that can be used as a "qualified education expense"