If you're looking for a college experience that offers all the art and culture of San Francisco, but without the high cost of living, look to nearby Oakland, California. While it may be part of the San Francisco Bay Area, however, Oakland easily stands on its own two feet. Oakland is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, with over 50 distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. Downtown Oakland is recognized for its lively nightlife, which features music clubs that cater to a variety of tastes.
Among Oakland colleges and universities, the California College of the Arts is known as one of America's finest independent schools of art and design. The college offers degrees in architecture, design, and the fine arts at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Other Oakland colleges and universities offer programs in health sciences, business, and the liberal arts. Whatever your interests may be, schools in Oakland will likely have a program that fits your style.