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CAL POLY SLO vs. UCSB

tsilva11tsilva11 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
edited March 2011 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
I have been accepted to both universities as a political science major. I am unsure of what school to chose. I live in Orange County, CA so both schools have the weather I would enjoy. I am going to go see both schools in a few weeks. I got full financial aid at both schools (22K in grants/7K in loans/2K in work study at SB and $12K in grants/$12K in loans at SLO)

Which school is better (in liberal arts program, in social scene, in general)? Help!!
Post edited by tsilva11 on

Replies to: CAL POLY SLO vs. UCSB

  • LalaSaysHellaLalaSaysHella Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I might be a little biased but before I got accepted to either schools I kind of made a list on paper. let me type it out for you.

    UCSB Pros: Next to the beach, there is always a party, beautiful students everywhere, kickass soccer team, the "UC" name (if this really means anything to you for your undergrad), the library is one of the biggest in the nation (because it includes all of the books in the UC system), aesthetically pleasing, college town, Halloween, the guide I had on this tour said teh professors teach (but I have heard from actual students there that, like most UCs, the TA teaches)

    UCSB Cons: People often get caught up in the party scene IF they can't control themselves, no football team, larger class sizes, I have heard that there is an eating disorder problem there because girls feel the need to be that pretty (competition, I guess), UC's are going to become more expensive because of the budget cuts, Harder to have long relationships because of the party lifestyle, Political science at their school is "Pre-Political Science" so you would have to finish at least two poli-sci classes before you can actually fully say you are in Poli-sci.

    Cal Poly Pros: Near the beach, all schools are party schools ;), beautiful students everywhere, there is a football team, it's been comparable to mid-tier UCs, they will have a new indoor track by 2012, the class sizes (in my opinion and observation) are definitely smaller and more interactive, you get to study your major as soon as you're there, college town, cheaper, near a lovely little farmers market.

    Cal Poly Cons: People know it as an Engineering school, so like me, you will get sneers for that; It is not as aesthetically pleasing on the outside as UCSB is; some people think the school is not that great because it's a state school and not a UC; 20 minutes away from the beach (not that long, but it's not next to one like UCSB is)


    I really think the two schools are very comparable, but I chose Cal poly because of the fact that UCSB is starting to only get recognition for a party school rather than for academics nowadays (at least in the area where I live). I also felt like the party scene would overwhelm me (even though I would consider myself an avid partier), I don't want to be peer pressured into partying all the time. I also like the fact that I would study my major as soon as I get there, and there are a ton of internship opportunities that sometimes get emailed to you by your professor. I liked the fact that a professor will probably know my name. Oh, and the average salary from cal poly graduates is higher than UCSB's. But really, you should visit the schools and see how you feel about them. You may think differently.
  • PolyGirl12PolyGirl12 Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Lala's list is a great one. I too chose Poly over UCSB and feel as though I made the right decision. I like that it's a relatively big school that feels small, and the job opportunities are great. Plus, it's a lot cheaper!
  • tsilva11tsilva11 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    UCSB would be cheaper for me. I got full financial aid for both schools, but SLO gave me a $11k loan while SB only gave me a $7k loan. If I go to SLO, I'd have to pay back about $45K in loans while at SB i'd have to pay back less than $30K in loans. I'm still unsure of where I want to go. I am going upto SB next weekend and SLO the weekend after, so hopefully it'll help make my decision more obvious!
  • CoopaloopCoopaloop Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Personally, I would choose Cal Poly. San Luis Obispo is a much nicer place to live than Isla Vista. The waves are better, but the trade off is that its a ten minute drive and only about 40% of freshman have cars. IV is only an hour and half drive, so if you ever get the urge to make a trip to IV, its always an option to cruise down, trash it and leave. (not that its ever clean) Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against UCSB, its great. I have been to parties in SLO way more epic than any I have been to at UCSB, if thats what your worried about.
    SLO is just nicer and more chill. The student bodies are equally as good looking. (probably the best in the nation) SLO is a litle classier.

    The education at Cal Poly is probably the best value of anyplace. The class sizes are generally very small and the teachers are usually amazing.
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