Parent Guide

We understand that you, as a parent, have questions about campus life at USF. Our One Card Parent Guide will help answer those questions and clarify the USF One Card's role in campus life.

USF One Card Program Overview

The USF One Card program centralizes several key university services and provides a convenient means with which USF students may access them. These services include building access, entitlement verification, and on-campus debit account functionality.

Upon registering for classes or moving into their university housing assignment, students are eligible to receive their first USF identification card (One Card). By simply swiping their One Card, students may enter campus facilities, borrow library books, eat meals, and pay for expenses – all without having to carry cash or a different card for each activity. Students also may use printers, make photocopies, and do laundry without having to search for small bills and exact change.

Building Access

Students use their One Card to gain access into various university buildings and facilities. Their One Cards are issued with default access into certain areas, including the Gleeson Library, Koret Health and Recreation Center, and computer labs. In addition, students living in university residence halls are given access to their building and room.

With access provided via the One Card, the frequent problem of lost keys, and subsequent risk to campus safety, is minimized. A lost One Card can be remotely deactivated and building security maintained.

If your student loses their One Card, he or she should immediately phone our office at (415) 422-7663 so that a staff member may deactivate it. This helps protect campus security and any funds associated with the card. Replacement cards are subject to a standard replacement fee.

Entitlement Verification

Entitlement verification is a comprehensive way to describe the fact that USF students are entitled to certain One Card services and privileges. In providing these services, the university needs an efficient and easy-to-use process with which to verify that the cardholder can and should access them. The One Card program maintains this process, which is put to use each time a student swipes or uses their One Card.

Examples of entitlement verification include admission to USF athletic events and the use of the Koret Health and Recreation center.

Campus Debit Accounts

A student's One Card is activated to function as a debit card, allowing for cashless purchasing power throughout campus. Debit accounts require the cardholder to prepay into them, after which he or she may make purchases against the available balance.

We encourage students to use their One Card instead of cash to pay for daily expenses and meals on campus. The One Card provides faster service and, in some cases, cost savings (see Don Dollars for more information).

The university offers two debit accounts, both of which are linked to the One Card. Each has unique features and is designed for specific purposes. Both prohibit cash withdrawals once funds are deposited.


Flexi is the traditional meal plan. It is required for and available only to students living in university on-campus housing (excluding Fulton House, Loyola Village, and Pedro Arrupe, which have kitchenettes) and is issued during the on-campus housing assignment process.

Flexi is accepted at all campus dining or cafeteria locations which are operated by Bon Appétit. While it may be used during the fall and spring semesters, it is not transferable after the spring semester or between accounts. Flexi is administered by Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE) as part of the student housing contract. For more information regarding Flexi, please contact SHaRE at (415) 422-6824.

Don Dollars

Don Dollars is an optional debit account available to anyone with a One Card.

Because it is a safer alternative to carrying cash, we encourage students to use Don Dollars to pay for on-campus expenses, such as fax transmittals, passport photos, card holders, and other services/merchandise that we provide in the One Card office. There are no cardholder fees or hidden costs associated with the account, and Don Dollars is accepted everywhere on campus that cash is. Moreover, students who pay with Don Dollars receive a discount at all campus dining locations, as well as a discount on photocopies made from campus copy machines.

It is important to note that cash cannot be withdrawn from the account, ensuring that all funds are used for university expenses. Also, the account belongs to the cardholder. While someone (e.g., a parent or guardian) may make a deposit on the student's behalf, for security reasons, we may only provide account information to the cardholder.

Parents and students may activate a Don Dollars account at anytime and deposit in any amount (not to exceed a total of $1,499). Unspent balances transfer from semester to semester and from year to year. Upon graduating, taking a leave of absence, or otherwise withdrawing from the university, if your student has a remaining Don Dollars balance, he or she may request a refund by completing a closed account form. (Please note that once a Don Dollars account is closed, it cannot be reactivated.)


The campus debit accounts provide a convenient and safe alternative for taking care of everyday college expenses. To help you make informed decisions regarding your student's funds, please consider the following.

What are typical college expenses?

Typical college expenses (see the chart below for estimates) will vary depending upon many factors, such as a student's major, whether he or she purchases new vs. used books and whether he or she commutes vs. lives on campus.

Item Per Semester Per Year
Books $225-500 $450-1,000
Laundry $50-100 $100-200
Vending machines $50-100 $100-200
Photocopying $10-20 $20-40
Laser printers $5-10 $10-20
School supplies $75-100 $150-200
Meals* $300-400 $600-800

*The estimated total for meals is for students who live off campus only. Students living on campus will use their Flexi meal plan.

Which plan should my student use: Flexi or Don Dollars?

  • Flexi is required for and available only to students living on campus (unless in Fulton House, Loyola Village or Pedro Arrupe), and is accepted at campus dining locations
  • Don Dollars is available to anyone with a One Card, and is accepted anywhere that cash is

Also recall that at the end of the academic year, students often have a Flexi balance, which does not carry forward—it must be spent by the end of the spring semester or it is forfeited. Don Dollars, on the other hand, rolls over to the following year and any remaining balance may be returned to the cardholder upon request when separating from USF.

How does my student (or how do I) manage available funds?

Cardholders may view their current balance and transaction history anytime by visiting our website and logging in with their USF username and password.

For your convenience, Don Dollars may be deposited at anytime via our website or at the Cash2Card machine, located on the second floor of the University Center. During business hours, deposits also may be made in person at our office in Lone Mountain 130 or via fax at (415) 422-6664.

Flexi is managed by Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE), which can be reached at (415) 422-6824.

Contact Info

One Card Office

CLOSED temporarily, until further safety updates are issued by the city and county of San Francisco

University Center, 5th Floor (415) 422-7663 (415) 422-6664

Holiday & Break Hours

​The One Card office is closed on University holidays and over holiday weekends. There are 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri hours during break and final exam periods.