The list, released Wednesday, also ranked the local university 33rd in the nation overall, comparing its cost of tuition against alumni earnings over 20 years.
The total cost to attend Cal Poly is $103,600 for in-state students. The 20-year net return on investment is $611,700.
The study looked at more than 1,300 public, private, religious and secular universities across the country.
“Cal Poly provides Californians with an affordable avenue to a top-shelf education that will pay dividends throughout their lives,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said in a statement.
All salary data used in the study came from a PayScale.com survey collected from employees who are alumni of the respective institutions.
Cal Poly was ranked No. 9 among public universities and No. 37 overall last year.
The top-ranked public university — Colorado School of Mines — had a net cost of $114,200 with a return on investment of $783,400.
Harvey Mudd College was the nation’s top-ranked university with a $229,500 cost and a $980,000 return on investment.
UC Berkeley was the only California public institution that ranked higher than Cal Poly, with a $133,900 cost and a $654,400 return on investment.
UC Berkeley also has a graduation rate of 91 percent compared with 72 percent at Cal Poly.
The 20-year return on investment statistics also broke down results for various majors.
At Cal Poly, those included $1,010,000 for computer science majors, $789,700 for engineering, and $639,200 for business majors.