California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Business School
California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Business School|
|Quality of teaching|
|Economics & Financial Engineering|
|Finance & Accounting|
|Industrial Operations & Manufacturing|
|Real Estate & Planning|
|"Quality" of fellow students|
Campus: A mix of really old and brand new buildings. No real building uniformity if that matters to you. There's still a shortage of on-campus housing due to the university accepting more students than it can support. They are building some additional dorms in 2015 - so hopefully it won't be an issue in the future.
SLO: Everybody seems to love this town. I've been to other universities in California and nothing could beat the small town college vibe that SLO offers. I'm from LA and being in SLO felt like a vacation.
Academics: If you've worked hard in high school or community college to get into Cal Poly, you'll do fine. Lots of frustrating group projects. I was kind of disappointed by my Business peers who didn't have much knowledge about anything going on in the world around them. Seriously ask a business major who are state senators are... "uh I don't know brah, anyways let's go to the beach later." All that being said, the academics are solid.
Student body: In recent years the administration has really pushed for more diversity and it shows. Nobody wants to admit this but most people just end up hanging out with their own race. You can see this in all the clubs and organizations the campus promotes. The student body has some genuinely bright people, but most people take themselves a little to seriously here. Most people are attractive, fit, and kind of boring once you start talking with them. Friendly but bland.
Professors: I really like the fact that this isn't a UC school. Professors are accessible and are focused on teaching instead of their own research. Classes are small making it easier to actually get to know your professor.
Extra curricular activities: I like the outdoors and SLO is a good place for that kind of thing. Surfing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, camping, ATVing are readily available. The downtown area is nice if you're over 21. Try line dancing at least once at the Grad. Most of the campus organizations aren't active so you need to figure this stuff out on your own.
Administration: They have pretty much shut down the sorority/frat party scene. They accept way to many students than the school has room for, in an effort to keep you in school longer and keep dishing out that tuition money.
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.)