Education

Is Cal Poly worth the price? Not as much as UC Santa Barbara, Forbes says

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.

What’s the best bang for your buck when it comes to higher education?

That’s the question Forbes magazine attempted to answer with a recent report that ranks universities across the nation by value.

Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo did make the list of America’s Best Value Colleges 2019 — ranking No. 70 out of 300 with an estimated total annual cost of $39,033. Forbes published its list of schools on April 24.

That ranking is below 17 other California schools, including UC Santa Barbara. The total annual cost is higher at the school is higher than Cal Poly — $64,125 — but the education offered by UC Santa Barbara is also ranked higher than Cal Poly in Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges list in 2018.

The 2019 list was published just days before Wednesday’s deadline for new students to commit to a college. Forbes created the annual ranking four years ago, the magazine’s website says, because, as the cost of college skyrockets, families are more interested in value over prestige.

Forbes ranked the schools by comparing multiple data points such as quality, price, debt, alumni earnings, timely graduation and access for low-income students. Basically, the analysis attempts to identify the best financial outcomes for students who attend.

Quality of education was measured using Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges ranking. Cal Poly ranked at No. 137 on that list, just below Rutgers University in New Jersey and above Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Here are all the California universities ranked in the top 100 list for best value:

  • UC Irvine (No. 3)
  • UC Los Angeles (No. 4)
  • UC Berkeley (No. 5)
  • Stanford University (No. 6)
  • UC Davis (No. 11)
  • UC Santa Barbara (No. 12)
  • UC San Diego (No. 13)
  • Pomona College (No. 14)
  • California Institute of Technology (No. 26)
  • UC Riverside (No. 27)
  • San Diego State (No. 30)
  • Cal State Long Beach (No. 37)
  • San Jose State University (No. 40)
  • Claremont McKenna College (No. 46)
  • UC Santa Cruz (No. 49)
  • Cal State Fullerton (No. 53)
  • Cal Poly Pomona (No. 59)
  • Cal Poly SLO (No. 70)
  • Cal State Chico (No. 73)
  • Cal State Fresno (No. 90)
  • California State University, Northridge (No. 92)
  • Cal State Sacramento (No. 95)
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