Education

Cal Poly accepted just 25 percent of applicants this year. Who got in?

Thousands of Cal Poly freshmen move into the dorms in SLO

Thousands of freshmen and transfer students began moving into dorms and apartments at Cal Poly on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, before the kickoff of “Week of Welcome” on Sunday.
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Thousands of freshmen and transfer students began moving into dorms and apartments at Cal Poly on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, before the kickoff of “Week of Welcome” on Sunday.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo offered admission to about 15,000 first-time freshman for the 2019 school year, turning away 75 percent of applicants during the competitive selection process.

For some, news from Cal Poly was a dream come true years in the making.

Christian Tio, who attends Foothill High School in Pleasanton, said Cal Poly was his top choice school since middle school. He was playing board games with friends on a Friday night when he decided to check the online portal.

“Congratulations!” the message read. He was admitted to Cal Poly as a graphic communications major.

“I screamed and jumped around the house; there was clapping and hugging, and I immediately called my parents,” Tio told The Tribune.

Others weren’t so thrilled.

Cal Poly turned away three out of every four applicants, though some of those were placed on a wait list and are anxiously hoping that admitted students in their major will chose another option.

Admitted students have until May 1 to decide whether SLO is the place for them. The university has a target enrollment of 4,493.

Cal Poly offered admission to 15,041 people out of 54,060 first-time freshman applicants. That’s significantly fewer than were admitted last year, when 16,466 of 55,000 applicants were accepted for fall 2018.

Although little data has so far been released about who was admitted, the average grade point average is 4.10 for the group and 54.5 percent are women and 45.4 percent are men, according to Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier.

Tio has already committed to Cal Poly, turning down his alternatives: UC Davis, University of Washington in Seattle, University of Colorado Boulder and San Jose State.

Cal Poly, he said, will best prepare him for his career in the corporate design field. Plus, “SLO’s weather, small-town vibe, and ‘Learn By Doing’ curriculum really stood out.”

Thousands of other students are in the midst of making that tough decision about their future and some have turned to Reddit to investigate.

Some topics of inquiry that have sparked discussion include how hard it is to get the classes you want, whether the food on campus is bad, what the gay scene is like, whether an Asian student will feel alienated by the high portion of white students at Cal Poly and job opportunities for graduates.

In addition to freshman applicants, Cal Poly turned away a significant number of upper-division transfer requests. Of the nearly 11,100 who applied, the university offered admission to 1,449 with a target enrollment of 858.

Overall, Cal Poly received 65,155 first-time freshman and transfer applications and accepted 16,490 to fill 5,351 seats for fall 2019

In the previous year, Cal Poly received 65,586 first-time freshman and transfer applications.

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