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California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Logo

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Cal Poly is a 4-year public university located at 1 Grand Ave. in San Luis Obispo, California. It's a Small campus in a Suburb-based setting with 20,944 enrolled students and a student faculty ratio of 22 to 1. Campus housing is present on campus, and online programs are available.

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California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Seal About California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly is a Public university which traces its origins to the year 1901 when the legislation was signed by the governor to establish what was to be known as the California Polytechnic School. The effort to have a higher education institute had begun much earlier in 1894 by the members of the community in the region. The school held its first classes two years after its establishment in 1903. The institute faced both WWI and II but succeeded at its mission of expanding its academic offerings and succeeding as a university and taking on its new name by 1972.

California Polytechnic State University is a space grant university and is one of the 23 member universities with the California State University system and the only polytechnic institute besides one more. The university is situated in San Luis Obispo, California.

Life at Cal Poly is filled with every unique and interesting opportunity that is needed for students to enjoy their time while studying to succeed in their life long journey. The university has more than 300 student clubs and organisations ranging from various issues and interests, and also the Greek Life for the students to be involved in. The openness of the university is equally warm towards its new students which it inducts through Orientation program, Open House and other events. There are other fun and creative events and activities held and planned on campus, through performances at the arts center. To raise awareness regarding many issues, the college is involved in supporting and teaching young children through its ASI Children’s center. There are university’s athletic programs, with teams participating as ‘Mustangs’ at NCAA Division I, with campus colors Green and Gold. Its mascot is the ‘Musty the Mustang’.

The university’s academic offerings include 63 bachelor programs, 34 masters, 79 minors and 13 credentials. Its prestigious facility is the Robert A. Mott Athletics Center and Robert E. Kennedy Library.

School Facts

  • Years Estd.March 8, 1901 (1901-03-08)
  • NicknameMustangs
  • MascotMusty the Mustang
  • MottoDiscere Faciendo (Latin)
  • Motto Eng.To Learn by Doing
  • ColorsGreen and Gold
  • LocationCalifornia
  • AthleticsNCAA Division I – Big WestBig Sky (football), Pac-12
  • Religious AffiliationNot applicable

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Cal Poly Tuition and Fees Cal Poly Tuition and Fees

We've provided you the following to learn more about this college. The tuition and demographic data on this page comes from recently published National Center for Education Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

Simple Tuition Estimate


Your Actual Cost/Tuition


The yearly tuition for Cal Poly is $9,001. However, this number and one's actual expenses can vary. Some schools have tuition that is higher based on students with residency in-state vs out of state, books, fees, and on or off campus housing will all have an effect. We provide a free calculator tool so you can see what your actual yearly costs might be.

Tuition and Fees Rankings

  • #1603 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also check out, Check out Colleges with the best tuition

  • #369 Nationally for Colleges with the most expensive cost of living.

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Cal Poly Simple Tuition vs. Actual Fees: What's the Difference?

Here a few things that can increase your actual costs of college, and will vary from school to school. It's good to figure out what these are ahead of time when deciding on a school.

  • Out-of-State vs. In-State

    Colleges can charge higher rates of tuition for students who are out-of-state residents and less for students who are in-state residents.
  • Books and Supplies

    Books, supplies and misc student expenses can often be overlooked. Know what those will be!
  • On Campus Housing vs. Living Off Campus

    Whether students live on-campus in designated student housing, or off-campus in a house or apartment, will change the cost of attending college. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is located in San Luis Obispo which will also determine rents and cost of living. Use our free calculator to estimate your cost of living.
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Calculate your Actual Expenses for Cal Poly

Fees Avg. Cost
Books & Supplies $G,BIG
On-Campus Room/Board $IG,S0I
Off-Campus Room/Board $G0,0IS
In-State Tuition $S0,BIG
Other Fees $1G,S00

College Rankings College Rankings

Cal Poly is a prestigious 4-year institution in California. The following are the rankings for the school relative to other universities across the country.

  • #1603 Nationally for Universities with highest tuition

    Also, check out Colleges with the best value tuition

  • #369 Nationally for Colleges with the most Expensive cost of living

    Also, check out Colleges with lowest cost of living

  • #161 Nationally for Largest Number of students enrolled

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Can I Get Accepted to Cal Poly? Can I Get Accepted to Cal Poly?

The Acceptance rate for Cal Poly is 31 Percent. Last year, there were 46820 applicants and 34 percent of those who were accepted actually attended (Enrollment Rate). To apply, it's required to have the following: High school GPA, High School transcripts, SAT/ACT test scores.

Total Applicants


Acceptance Rate


Enrollment Rate

  • This university requires SAT/ACT Scores.

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Can Help, But Not Required

  • US Military
  • Associates Degree
  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Good GPA
  • Work Experience

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

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Student Data & Demographics Student Data & Demographics

Total Students


Total Graduate Students


Student to Faculty Ratio

22 to 1