Off-Campus Housing

San Francisco, CA
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing is worth the freedom. It is very expensive to get housing near school, but you usually end up paying the same amount as the dorms, and it is way better to have your own place. It is usually really easy to get lower prices if your willing to have longer commute, but you can often times catch one bus to school.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are affordable options, but housing in SF in general is becoming more and more limited. This affects everyone, maybe less so if you are well-off, but there's not an abundance of housing by any means. However, there are plenty of people who find housing they can afford within the Richmond district where they have a direct line of transportation to campus. The Richmond is a safe neighborhood with good food and easy access to Golden Gate park. The houses can be nice, even stunning. I have yet to see a s*** hole place in the richmond where most students live.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Still expensive but cheaper than the dorms.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I'm not completely sure about off-campus housing, since I'm currently living on-campus and hopefully will next year as well, but I hear it's somewhat easy to find and usually it's not that hard.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Have heard polar reviews of off campus living.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 768th
    Best Off-Campus Housing Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jiordan Castle
Huntington, New York
English (Writing Emphasis)
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

San Francisco has consistently been ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the country. The average rent per person is more than $1,000, and finding an apartment or a room is nearly as difficult as affording it. Still, however expensive an apartment may be, the dorms are just as costly, if not more so. Most freshmen, while required to live in on-campus housing, enjoy the ease of school-regulated utility costs and a convenient location. As for off-campus housing, the most cost-effective way to afford to live in the city is to find some roommates. Residence Life boasts a special section of the school’s website for off-campus living, which connects students looking for roommates. Many students also post fliers in bathroom stalls and in the cafeteria, describing rooms for rent and roommates desired.

The most preferred neighborhoods for USF students living off campus are the Richmond (especially the Inner Richmond, right around the school and on Geary Boulevard) and the Sunset. Students also enjoy living in the Mission and even farther out, though the commute can be much longer. However, San Francisco isn’t very big, and the bus system is simple enough for off-campus students to navigate. Living off campus definitely has its perks, like having your own kitchen, space to study and relax, and best of all, a bathroom shared by a few people, rather than an entire floor. It’s also nice to be able to get to cafés, grocery stores, and neighborhood shops more easily.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrads Living Off Campus
Freshmen Living Off Campus
Average Off-Campus Room & Board
Best Time to Look for a Place
As is true of most major cities, it's easiest to find an apartment about a month before your move-in date. This is especially true if you're using a site like Craigslist. If you're looking to live with friends, it's best to choose roommates in advance to ease the stress of finding the apartment itself.
Popular Areas
  • Around USF
  • Mission
  • Richmond
  • Sunset
Average Rents
  • Studio: $1,295
  • 1 BR: $1,500
  • 2 BR: $2,100
  • 3 BR: $2,900

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus housing on the following topics    Based on 72 responses

Very poor
  • Availability
  • Cost
  • Ease of obtaining/process
  • Landlords
  • Parking
  • Proximity to campus
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Variety

What is the off-campus housing selection like near campus and is it worth it?    Based on 77 responses

  • 0% Not worth the hassle or expense. Everyone just lives on campus.
  • 22% High prices and/or limited choices keep most students on campus.
  • 75% Price and availability can vary, but the added freedom is still worth it.
  • 3% Totally worth it. It's easy to find a place, and prices are reasonable.

How helpful is the school in helping students find off-campus housing?    Based on 76 responses

  • 47% Not very helpful.
  • 1% The school does not allow students to live off campus.
  • 41% Somewhat helpful.
  • 11% Extremely helpful.
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