Rodger was born in London, and moved to the United States with his parents when he was five years old. He was raised in Los Angeles, California. His father is British filmmaker Peter Rodger, whose credits include working as a second unit assistant director for The Hunger Games, and his own feature-length film Oh My God,and his mother is Li Chin Rodger, a research assistant for a film company of Malaysian Chinese descent. His younger sister, Georgia Rodger, was born before his parents divorced. After his father remarried, he and his second wife Soumaya Akaaboune, a Moroccan actress, had a son together.Elliot Rodger's paternal grandfather was photojournalist George Rodger. 
He attended Crespi Carmelite High School , an all-boys Catholic school in Encino, Los Angeles , and then Taft High School in Woodland Hills . He graduated from Independence Continuation High School in Lake Balboa, Los Angeles. He briefly attended Los Angeles Pierce College and Moorpark College before moving to Isla Vista on June 4, 2011. Rodger attended Santa Barbara City College . In his manifesto, he said that he dropped out of all his classes in February 2012. The school said he was no longer taking any classes.