Top 5 Reasons to Apply to the Orfalea College of Business


High school seniors around the nation are beginning to contemplate where they want to attend college. So why, they may ask, should they choose Orfalea College of Business in San Luis Obispo? While Orfalea has been ranked among the nation’s best business schools, the college is more than just a number. If you’re considering earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, economics or industrial technology and packaging on the West coast, consider these top five reasons to apply to Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business:

#5 Comprehensive Student Support
From acceptance through graduation, Orfalea’s Student Services offer comprehensive support to strengthen personal, academic, and career success. Students have direct — and free — access to Peer Advising to help with academic progress, Peer Mentoring to help students grow personally, Tutoring in tough classes, leadership opportunities, and career-readiness advising to help students build confidence throughout the hiring process. The college’s Student Services Center also provides quarterly workshops on professional skills, networking events with alumni, and campus-wide resources for you to constantly stay connected. The college’s support network and peer advising model is credited with boosting graduation rates by 10 percent; now 87 percent of Orfalea students graduate within five years — the highest rate at Cal Poly.

#4 Endless Opportunities For Studying Abroad
Orfalea students have an expansive list of options available to them to embrace an international perspective on business. With more than 200 programs in 75 countries, and with options to go abroad for spring break up to a year long, Orfalea students have the opportunity to globalize their college experience and adapt to new cultures. Business, econ and industrial technology/packaging students also have exclusive access to Orfalea International Business Tours: trips led by faculty to business hubs that immerse students in the region’s economic atmosphere in places like Vietnam, China, Cuba, Costa Rica and New Zealand. These tours last 10-14 days over academic breaks, making them a great option for students who don’t have time to study abroad. Worried about financing your study abroad experience? Orfalea’s got you covered. With the Orfalea Travel Grant, students often receive financial support from the college to travel.

#3 Personalized Experience With Expert Faculty
Orfalea College of Business students have direct access to seasoned faculty who have years of experience in their industry. Cal Poly’s student-faculty ratio is 19:1, with 15.6 percent of classes having fewer than 20 students and 71.35 percent having 20-49 students. Unlike many large universities where student interact with a teacher’s assistants only, Orfalea students have the opportunity to know their professors on a personal level, where they can ask questions, participate in discussions, or even contribute to their research. This is excellent outside the classroom, as well, as students benefit from the professor’s industry connections and insights on where their disciplines are headed.

#2 High Return On Investment
College isn’t cheap, and many potential students are concerned about cost of tuition and potential debt. However, students at Orfalea know that their education comes at a relatively low cost compared to UC or private schools. Orfalea grads also see an excellent return on investment, meaning you’ll earn back the money invested in tuition quickly after graduation. That’s why Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Orfalea No. 5 in the nation for ROI among undergraduate business schools in 2014. And according to, the average in-state Orfalea graduate’s 20-year lifetime earnings are 18 times larger than the total cost of four-year tuition. Moreover, Orfalea students are in high demand with employers following their education. In fact, 90.6% of undergraduates at Orfalea are employed at graduation, and many of those students already have their jobs set into place at the beginning of their senior years. Many of Orfalea’s programs, like accounting and information systems, boast 100 percent placement rates and substantial salaries for all graduating seniors.

#1 Learn By Doing
At Orfalea College of Business, the Learn by Doing motto drives coursework to include hands-on experience that gives students the opportunity to gain practical skills and confidence. For example, finance students can participate in the Student Managed Portfolio Project, where they can manage nearly half a million dollars of Cal Poly Corporation funds within the stock market. Entrepreneurship students have the chance to collaborate with engineers to develop and launch a brand new product through the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Accounting students gain experience in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, helping locals resolve significant tax burdens with the IRS and Franchise Tax Board. The Learn by Doing motto not only helps students gain firsthand experience, but it also gives Orfalea students a leg-up when applying for jobs. Industries value graduates who can bring technical expertise and know-how to the job before they’ve even started, and Orfalea prepares students to stand out and to add value at their companies on Day One.

Cal Poly’s undergraduate applications are open Oct. 1- Nov. 30. Remember, Cal Poly requires you to apply to a specific major, so take this time to explore the Orfalea College of Business academic programs via our website: The college features majors in business administration, economics and industrial technology and packaging. The college offers specific concentrations within those majors, as well as minors, to complement your education.

While you’re at it, get to know Cal Poly’s selection criteria, the admissions timelines and details on the CSU Apply website.

Looking to get to know campus even better? Come to San Luis Obispo for a tour of the Orfalea College of Business. You’ll get to know one of America’s happiest cities and hear specifics about the college from one of our knowledgeable student leaders.

Apply now via CSU Apply before the deadline closes: