Cal Poly is one of the best public colleges and amongst the top 100 best valued colleges in the nation, according to Money Magazine.
Cal Poly ranked No. 39 out of the 50 top public universities in Money Magazine’s annual “50 Best Public Colleges” list – several spots behind Cal Poly Pomona and six other California State University (CSU) campuses. However, Cal Poly outranked other CSU schools including CSU Fresno, CSU San Bernardino and San Diego State University.
Topping the list were University of California (UC) San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley.
The study compiled data from the U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, PayScale.com and Money College Measures to pull median SAT and ACT scores, average price for the 2018-19 school year, price of school year with average grants, percent of students in need who receive grants, average student debt and early career earnings.
Cal Poly also ranked 64th out of 727 colleges for best value in the United States.
“Cal Poly appears frequently on lists such as this, regularly ranking highly among the state’s and nation’s public and private universities and earning accolades as being among the best higher education investments for students,” University Spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News.
The university is the most competitive for admissions in the CSU system with an average GPA of 4.13 for first-time freshmen in 2018.
The magazine analyzed main data points including graduation rates, tuition charges, family borrowing and alumni earnings.
Cal Poly students finish college with an average of $18,700 in debt and earn an average annual salary of $61,100 in their early career, according to the list.
“Rankings such as these can help prospective students see the long-term dividends of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing education and help illustrate why there is increasing demand from students hoping to attend Cal Poly,” Lazier wrote.
This demand is apparent in Cal Poly’s record 65,000 enrollment applications for Fall 2018, an increase of 13 percent from Fall 2016. Of the total Fall 2018 applicants, 54,732 are first-time freshmen and 10,775 are upper-division transfer students.
While Money lists the student population as racially diverse, Cal Poly is the least racially diverse among the CSU and UC systems, according to current enrollment data. In hopes of increasing diversity, Cal Poly adopted a Diversity Action Initiative June 7 in compliance with state Proposition 209 to move toward more accurately representing the state’s demographics: 39.1 percent Hispanic or Latino and 15.2 percent Asian.
According to the most recent Cal Poly Career Services Graduate Status Report, 94 percent of graduates are ‘positively engaged,’ meaning they are either working or in graduate school. Of those students, 99 percent have found a job within nine months of graduating.
In addition, 97 percent found jobs related to their major and had a starting median salary of $62,000.
“More than anything, these rankings show that Cal Poly is committed to preparing its students to succeed after graduation — as they further their educations or enter the global workforce,” Lazier wrote.