Cal Poly Ranked as a Top Best-Value Public University in California

Cal Poly students at Avila BeachCal Poly ranks as one of the top best-value public universities in California, according to a recent study by New York financial technology company SmartAsset.

The Learn-by-Doing university was the state’s No. 2 public institution behind UC Berkeley, and fifth in the Golden State among private and public colleges and universities that offer a good college education for a decent price, SmartAsset said. Cal Poly was ranked ninth overall in the state in the firm’s 2015 rankings, as well as California’s sixth-best public university.

“These are the institutions where you get the most bang for your buck,” according to SmartAsset, which released its list in March.

Cal Poly was the 21st best-value university in the nation, according to the financial technology firm that provides transparent, automated and accurate advice on big personal finance decisions. The university improved from 53rd in the U.S. in the 2015 survey.

Making this year’s top 10 California list were: Harvey Mudd College (No. 1); California Institute of Technology (No. 2); Stanford University (No. 3); UC Berkeley (No. 4); Cal Poly (No. 5); UC San Diego (No. 6); UCLA (No. 7); San Jose State (No. 8); UC Irvine (No. 9); and Claremont McKenna College (No. 10). The 2016 survey ranked 58 public and private California colleges and universities.

SmartAsset looked at five factors to determine its best-value list: tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings, retention rate and starting salary.

At Cal Poly, these were: $8,724 yearly tuition; $15,561 in student living costs; $7,255, the average amount of scholarships and grants per student; a 93 percent first-year retention rate (the number of freshmen who return for their sophomore year); and $57,800, the average starting salary of a graduate.

The information, SmartAsset reported, was compiled from data culled from: National Center for Educational Statistics (2014), the federal organization that collects and analyzes data related to education in the U.S. and other nations; (2016), an online salary, benefits and compensation information company; and College InSight (2014), an initiative of the Institute for College Access and Success that makes data on college affordability, diversity and student success easy to access.