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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 19,703 undergraduate students. Admissions is competitive as the Cal Poly acceptance rate is 29%. Popular majors include Business, Mechanical Engineering, and Biology. Graduating 80% of students, Cal Poly alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $48,600.
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
29%
Application Deadline
November 30
SAT Range
1150-1360
ACT Range
26-31
Application Fee
$55
SAT/ACT
Required
High School GPA
Required
Early Decision/Early Action
Yes

Test Prep

SAT and ACT Prep Options
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  • Score higher—guaranteed, or your money back
  • A team of teachers ready to answer your questions

Cost

Net Price
$18,530/ year
National
$15,523
Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.
Net Price by Household Income
  • <$30k
    $11,147/ year
  • $30-48k
    $13,050/ year
  • $49-75k
    $16,165/ year
  • $76-110k
    $20,865/ year
  • $110k+
    $24,311/ year
Student Loan Options from Lenders
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Academics

Professors
B
Based on faculty accomplishments, salary, student reviews, and additional factors.
Student Faculty Ratio
21:1
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.223 responses
47%
of students agree that the workload is easy to manage.222 responses

Majors

Students

Full-Time Enrollment
19,703Undergrads
Undergrads Over 25
3%
Pell Grant
11%
Varsity Athletes
2%
Poll
What one word or phrase best describes the typical student at this school?
Based on 142 responses
Report
  • Academically and socially balanced
    56%
  • Active
    27%
  • Busy
    11%
  • Similar
    3%
  • Focused and determined
    2%
  • Outgoing
    1%

Campus Life

Freshmen Live On-Campus
Poll
63%
of students say that Greek life is average, and no one will treat you differently if you don't join.278 responses
Poll
66%
of students say varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.341 responses
Poll
What one word or phrase best describes your school?
Based on 149 responses
Report
  • Learn by doing
    93%
  • Everybody, please do not think differently
    3%
  • The Mustang Way
    2%
  • Communication skills are most important
    1%
  • Fast-paced
    1%
  • Underrated
    1%

After College

Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation
$63,100/ year
National
$33,028
Graduation Rate
80%
National
49%
Employed 2 Years After Graduation
94%
National
83%
90%
of students feel confident they will find a job in their field after graduation.147 responses
Colleges like California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Reviews

3,535 reviews
All Categories
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.
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Cal Poly SLO is known for their great engineer and agriculture programs. The professors are knowledgable and with a smaller campus and small class sizes, you can really get the attention and help you need from your professors. However, Cal Poly struggles with diversity. There are some programs directed to making prospective students of color feel more welcome (such as Poly Cultural Weekend) but overall, people of color make up less than half of the student body. There is even less people of color apart of Cal Poly's faculty. The lack of diversity is also apparent in the town, not just on campus. If you are coming from a big city to San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly will be a big change. Since it is such a smaller, quieter area, there is not much to do here, especially if you're under 21. That being said, there are a lot of places to hike and hammock if you're a nature lover! The Farmers Market on Thursdays are a popular spot and attract many residents. The beaches are beautiful.
CAL POLY - SLO is an excellent school. As an Alumni of 20 years, I can speak to my experience compared to the real world.

CAL POLY gave an average student like me the opportunity to experience the challenging life of a top University.

The Professors were tough, nurturing, and excellent. Hands on learning & real world life was brought into all subjects. CAL POLY is by no means easy. However, you are set up for success, not failure. POLY prepares you for real life & success in life after graduation. POLY prepared this average student to go on to receive 2 more degrees, and be successful in life. Thank you to all programs at CAL POLY!