One of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, San Francisco is also home to a large number of students. It is the highest-rated liveable city in the US according to World Liveability Rankings. Its cool summers, foggy days, steep hills, cable cars, and landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf attract millions of people from around the globe.

The internet boom in the 90s pushed San Francisco to be one of the most important hubs for the best startups in the world. This was a major reason why companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft chose the city as one of their top preferences. Today, San Francisco is headquarters to Levi Strauss & Co, Gap, Reddit, Dolby, Airbnb, Uber, Yelp, Mozilla, and Pinterest, etc.

Although located in one of the most expensive states in the US, there are cheap universities in San Francisco for aspiring students. The colleges in the US usually have different fees structures for the state- residents, out-of-state residents, and international students. Note that the total fees may vary slightly due to some additional fees specified by each of these universities.

Note: All figures mentioned in bullets are yearly.

Cheap San Francisco Universities

1. San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University was founded in the year 1899 and is one of the most renowned institutions in the city. Its 141-acre campus serves as a school to 6 different fields of studies and inhabits over 29000 students. It offers 118 bachelor’s degrees and 94 master’s degrees in the areas of liberal and creative arts, business, education, ethnic studies, health and social sciences, and science and engineering. Some of the courses at this cheap university in San Francisco have also been formed in affiliation with the University of California Berkeley and Los Angeles.

The following are the tuition fees per semester:

  • In-state student
    • Undergraduate- $4858
    •  Graduate- $5692

Non-state US residents need to pay an additional $396 (or a fraction) per unit. Hence, the total fee is determined by the number of units selected by the student.

  • Out-of-state students
    • Undergraduate- $7684
    • Graduate- $6829
  • International Students
    • Undergraduate- $7684
    • Graduate- $6829

 

2. Academy of Arts University

Academy of Arts University is a private institution school to over 11000 aspiring art students. It has an academic staff of 1900 people over its 6 schools; photography, graphic design, acting, fashion, game development, animation, and visual effects, and motion pictures & television. The tuition fee of the university is uniform for in-state residents, out-of-state residents, and international students.  It houses people from over 100 countries across is 25 courses. The per-unit cost for all the students at undergrad and post-grad levels is the same; $963 and $1083 respectively.

  • In-state students (California Resident)
    • $26147 (Includes $50 application fees)
  • Out-of-state student
    • $26147 (Includes $50 application fees)
  • International Students
    • $26547 (includes $150 application fees, $300 international student service fees)

 

3. City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco is the only community college in the city. Established in 1935, the college has more than 23000 students and offers courses in more than 50 academic programmes. This cheap university in San Francisco offers a wide range of credit courses that help students get an associate degree. The basic tuition fees for California residents, out-of-state residents, and international students various for every unit. In-state, out-of-state, and international students, apart from San Francisco city residents who pay no tuition, pay per unit fees of $46. The international students pay as much as students from other states.

  • In-state students (California Resident)
    • $920 (20 Units)
  • Out-of-state student
    • $5740 (20 Units)
  • International Students
    • $5740 (20 Units)

 

4. California Institute of Integral Studies

CIIS is a private non-profit university with over 50 years of existence. This cheap university in San Francisco has two campuses and provides degrees through its 4 schools; School of Professional Psychology and Health, School of Consciousness and Transformation, School of Undergraduate Studies, and the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Around 10% of the students are from different countries making CIIS a globally diverse educational institution.

  • In-state students
    • Bachelor’s- $20222
    • Master’s- $21400
    • PhD- $24658
  • Out-of-state student
    • Bachelor’s- $20222
    • Master’s-$21400
    • PhD- $24658
  • International Students
    • Bachelor’s- $20222
    • Master’s-$ 21400
    • PhD- $24658
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5.      Golden Gate University

Named after one of the most renowned tourist spots in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate University was founded in 1901. It trains students professionally through its four major schools of law, taxation, accounting, and business. This cheap university in San Francisco offers 6 bachelor’s and 15 master’s degrees to about 5300 students. 12% of the students at GGU represent 50 different countries and about 60 % of the total study body is undergraduates.

  • In-state students
    • Bachelor’s- $16095
    • Master’s- $18355
  • Out-of-state student
    • Bachelor’s- $16095
    • Master’s-$18355
  • International Students
    • Bachelor’s- $16095 + $1000 (F1 Visa Deposit)
    • Master’s-$ 18355 + $1000 (F1 Visa Deposit)

 

The universities in the US have different fees for state residents, out-of-state residents, and international students. The three are treated differently. Usually, the cost per unit taken in each course varies from student to student, some universities charge additional fees for extra services to international students, hence adding up to the total cost.  The above-stated 5 universities are some of the cheapest universities in the city of San Francisco.

 

I hope that this article on cheap universities in San Francisco was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!