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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

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Greatest Engineering Value- For the price and qualityBrightCivil Engineering
Greatest Engineering Value- For the price and quality of education in engineering, it is easily the best school in the country.

Cheap- Although the engineering program is worth it, everything else seems to be weak compared to other schools. For example, its missing the fun D1 tailgating atmosphere, although it has a very big soccer following. The facilities are sub par, especially the crowded library. The on campus food is limiting- very few chain restaurants, although the town has exceptional restaurant choices. Housing is overpriced and shanty, there is no Greek row, and the dorms are stuffy.

The Students are AWESOME. The Faculty are GREAT. And the Cal Poly Corporation wants to suck every last penny out of you, because the tuition is so cheap. For example, parking, campus food, and stores are very expensive for students.The last thing to mention is the lack of diversity. The extent of Cal Poly's diversity is northern or southern Californian. People do not discuss worldly current events, politics, perspectives, literature, or the arts very often unless its directly pertaining to their major study. So there is a lack of roundness in the generic atmosphere of cultural learning.

5th Year Male -- Class 2014
Education Quality: A+, Individual Value: F
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Wonderful and beautiful town with so much toBrightPsychology
Wonderful and beautiful town with so much to do. I love San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly is great as well with friendly and helpful staff. My only complaint is how horribly the University is impacted right now. It is virtually impossible to get into any classes! Very frustrating. I would highly recommend this school, but be prepared to fight your way into classes and possible stay longer than four years.
4th Year Female -- Class 2014
Social Life: A+, University Resource Use/ spending: B
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I came to Cal Poly as a freshmanQuite BrightBusiness - Management and Administration
I came to Cal Poly as a freshman because it was a good state school and provided an excellent education for a lower tuiton rate. I turned down USC, UCSD, UCD, UCSB, SCU, LMU, and other schools to go to Cal Poly. Now I am transferring out of CP after my first year after finding it wasn't for me. I don't hate the school, I just felt kinda "eh" about it, and I didn't want my college experience to be "eh."

Everyone is white, middle-class, all-American, and lives in CA. I didn't think that would bother me that much, but the lack of diversity is truly troubling - race wasn't as much of an issue as much as it was a uniformity of experiences: everyone liked the same food (American) and the same music (country) and the same things to do (hiking, partying). Personally, I enjoy a little more diversity with my peers, and having friends from all over the world and different backgrounds really brings some interesting viewpoints and excitement to my life. This will not be found at Cal Poly.

The students are also a saving point of the university. Everyone is nice, friendly, and welcoming.
The academic environment is interesting. Since CP admits students by major, you end up with a lot of unintelligent people (a good majority of which are ag majors, due to the high acceptance rate in that field - many people apply to this major just to get into the university and then attempt to switch out)and you also have a lot of VERY intelligent people (engineering acceptance rate is almost in the single-digits). The constant clashes over "engineering vs. business majors" is not only dumb, it grows really old and you will enventually get very sick of the engineering majors who carry the pretentous and condescending attitude around. I would say the majority of the student body is unmotivated, lazy, and lack an ambitious drive. My friends at other universities all had summer internships; CP friends were just "hanging out" all summer or had camp counselor jobs. The laid-back attitude eliminates a "cut-throat" environment at other schools, but I did not have any challenge navigating the academic workload, as I was constantly at the top percent of the class, and the lack of a challenge ended up being a little bit boring. Group projects were also frustrating since most group members were more than likely idiots.

SLO is a nice place to live, but for a college student in the prime of my life, I found it a little boring. On the weekends, hiking and going to the beach can get a little repetitive, and the social scene is lacking, to say the least. There is no Greek row, and frat/sorority houses are small and ratty. Extracurriculars are not as abundant as they are at other schools, and I would not agree with the statement "it's easy to get involved." You really have to work hard and be persistent about finding things to get involved in, as I found that clubs do not have a great campus presence in the day-to-day. I was also hard-pressed to find the "opportunities" that people speak of. Getting an internship or an opportunity through the university is not abundantly provided, and even after thorough searching, I did not find any true opportunities through CP.

The campus is allright. It's set in the hills, which is beautiful, but all the buildings are a little mismatched and there is no "collegiate" feel about the campus. It's very hilly and most people walk places rather than bike. It WILL smell like cow poop when the wind blows the wrong way, especially in fall and spring when it's warm.

I found all my teachers to be very good, welcoming, and genuinely interested in teaching their students. They probably all moved to SLO to find a safe place to live with their families and are teaching for the fun of teaching. No douchey research-oriented staff here. I was impressed with the quality of the education I was given and I would definitely highlight that as a great pro of this university. The education you will receive for the price of tuition is unparalleled. However, education is only half of the ultimate college equation - I would say that CP is quite lacking the college experience department, one of the integral parts of college.

School spirit is also lacking. I didn't think that it mattered that much to me, but even though I'm not a sports fanatic, not having school spirit is a bummer. People wear other college's sweatshirts around campus, and the attendance for any sport event is really quite sad. Nobody is really proud that they go to Cal Poly in the same sense Bruins are proud they go to UCLA.All in all, if you have a smaller budget for college and don't mind missing out on the excitement of a traditional college experience in exchange for a great education, I would say CP is the place for you. Personally, I chose not to return. Freshmen retention rate is around 90% - for every 10 people you know, one of them will not come back next year. I'd say that is pretty accurate, as I know at least five or six people in my dorm who will not be returning (including me.)

1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Friendliness: A+, Individual Value: C
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