Cal Poly is one of the best colleges by value in the United States, according to a recent ranking by Money Magazine — though it did rank behind several other California universities, including the “other” Cal Poly in Pomona and five additional CSUs.
The magazine ranked the San Luis Obispo campus 64th out of 727 American universities in its annual “Best Colleges for Your Money” list.
Money examined three major factors in determining its rankings: quality of education (grad rates, student-to-teacher ratio and the college’s financial status); affordability (price of degree and student debt) and graduate success (earnings and employment).
The university scored well in graduate success, with a graduation rate of 80 percent, and graduate starting salaries of around $61,000 — 17 percent higher than their peers who graduated from similar universities, according to the college’s entry on the list.
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It also ranked highly for “alumni largesse” like the new Oppenheimer Family Equine Center and last year’s $110 million gift to the College of Science and Mathematics.
Interestingly, in the explanation of the college’s ranking, Money wrote “the population is diverse, with 16 percent of students Hispanic and 13 percent Asian.”
This comes despite the fact that the university has in recent years struggled with how to increase diversity at the predominately white school. (In fall 2017, 54.8 percent of the student body identified as white, the most of any school in the CSU and UC systems.)
Fifteen other California universities ranked above Cal Poly on the list: Of the 23 CSUs, Cal Poly SLO ranked below Long Beach (22nd), Dominguez Hills (45th), Pomona (47th), Stanislaus (49th), Los Angeles (51st) and Chico (62nd).
Cal Poly outranked other colleges like Fresno State, CSU San Bernardino, San Diego State University and Cal State Fullerton.
The best college in the country according to the list is Princeton, followed by UCs San Diego, Irvine and Los Angeles.