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A
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Academics
    A
  2. Value
    A+
  3. Diversity
    A-
  4. Campus
    B
  5. Athletics
    B+
  6. Party Scene
    A
  7. Professors
    B
  8. Location
    A
  9. Dorms
    B-
  10. Campus Food
    D+
  11. Student Life
    A
  12. Safety
    B
Cal Poly is a highly rated public university located in California. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 20,584 undergraduate students. Admissions is fairly competitive as the Cal Poly acceptance rate is 35%. Popular majors include Business, Mechanical Engineering, and Biology. Graduating 79% of students, Cal Poly alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $52,100.
About California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo...
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-FCS
Athletic Conference
Big Sky Conference
Address
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Rankings

Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews.

Admissions

Acceptance Rate
35%
Application Deadline
November 30
SAT Range
1200-1380
ACT Range
26-31
Application Fee
$55
SAT/ACT
Required
High School GPA
Required
Early Decision/Early Action
Yes

Cost

Net Price
$19,002/ year
National
$15,523
Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.
Average Total Aid Awarded
$5,891/ year
National
$7,535
Students Receiving Financial Aid
63%

Academics

Professors
B
Based on faculty accomplishments, salary, student reviews, and additional factors.
Student Faculty Ratio
22:1
Evening Degree Programs
No
85%
of students agree that professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.215 responses
23%
of students agree that it is easy to get the classes they want.230 responses
47%
of students agree that the workload is easy to manage.229 responses

Majors

Students

Full-Time Enrollment
20,584Undergrads
Part-Time Undergrads
767
Undergrads Over 25
3%
Pell Grant
14%
Varsity Athletes
3%
Poll
What one word or phrase best describes the typical student at this school?
Based on 149 responses
Report
  • Academically and socially balanced
    54%
  • Active
    29%
  • Busy
    11%
  • Similar
    3%
  • Focused and determined
    2%
  • Outgoing
    1%
  • Stressed
    1%

Campus Life

Freshmen Live On-Campus
Poll
62%
of students say that Greek life is average, and no one will treat you differently if you don't join.285 responses
Poll
66%
of students say varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.348 responses
Poll
What one word or phrase best describes your school?
Based on 156 responses
Report
  • Learn by doing
    92%
  • Everybody, please do not think differently
    3%
  • The Mustang Way
    2%
  • Communication skills are most important
    1%
  • Fast-paced
    1%
  • Home away from home
    1%
  • Underrated
    1%

After College

Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation
$66,900/ year
National
$33,028
Graduation Rate
79%
National
49%
Employed 2 Years After Graduation
95%
National
83%
90%
of students feel confident they will find a job in their field after graduation.147 responses
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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Reviews

3,613 reviews
All Categories
This college is great! They are so freshman oriented and work very hard to help incoming students adapt to college life. Also, the new dorms are great! It’s awesome to see colleges incorporating gender-inclusive areas to make all students, including those in the LGBTQ+ community, comfortable in their living spaces. Cal Poly’s “learn by doing” motto is taken to heart by the staff and faculty members, meaning students are truly encouraged to put themselves out there while incorporating their learning into life. The one complaint I have in the disorganization of the student portal. It’s pretty difficult to navigate if you’re not accustomed to using it.
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The campus is generally nice with the exception of some outdated buildings. Endless resources available from advising to food pantries. The rec center is definitely a highlight on this campus, 3 pools, multiple basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, and tons of machines. There are also classes available. I've never had problems getting classes despite being a science and math major. Does lack racial diversity. San Luis Obispo is the perfect college town and campus combination with plenty to do in the area from hiking to eating good food to drive in movie theaters! Party scene is great- work hard play hard mentality at hand. There is usually something to do everynight of the week.
Imagine obtaining a respectable degree from a school that sits right on the beach, but is surrounded by expansive mountains and hills, and sunshine pours over the campus almost every day. Committing to Cal Poly has been one of the best desicions I have ever made. First of all, the university is highly admired and graduate students are quickly grabbed up by employers because of their solid reputation. Beyond excellent academics, the people that attend Cal Poly make the experience what it is. People live a healthy and fit lifestyle, and adventure is flowing through everyone, but students are also very dedicated to their studies. The location of Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo, is legendary. San Luis Obispo, California has so much to offer: an endless list of hikes, gnarly waves to surf, beautiful beaches, thursday-night farmer's markets, a welcoming downtown area, and the sweetest locals. Cal Poly literally checks all of the boxes.