This is an interesting link: Only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges Are Worth the Investment: Former Secretary of Education | Daily Ticker - Yahoo! Finance
The main point of this story is that there are only 150 schools in the United States that are worth getting an education from out of 3,500 schools nationwide. The rest appear to have a poor or negative ROI. Cal Poly SLO appears on this national list ranked at #62 for all institutions both public and private in the United States for in-state tuition with an ROI of 10.7% without financial aid and 11.8% with financial aid. These ROI stats are far higher than most other schools. However, the ranking is based on a "30 Year Net ROI". How that is calculated, I have no idea. For out-of-state tuition it is ranked 76th.
It puts Cal Poly SLO (for in-state) at 8th for all schools in California and 3rd for public schools in California (I only counted this once -- I actually do have a life outside of rooting for Cal Poly, so I could be off by a rank or two). For those of you that want to count and verify, here is the entire list: College Education Value Rankings - PayScale 2012 College ROI Report
Anyway, I find the methodology kinda suspect as there is no breakdown by major or school size, etc. For example at #1 nationally Harvey Mudd is purely Engineering except for a handful token of other STEM majors. The school also has fewer than 800 total students with a graduation class of give or take 200 a year. If you compare that with Cal Poly or a UC it really isn't fair as there are so many other majors and thousands more students are represented. Also, in-state and out-of-state appear on the list so a school can appear twice on the same list.
Anyway, no list is perfect. But it does continue to add to the value of Cal Poly. If there truly are only 150 schools considered worth the investment out of thousands of colleges and universities in the country and Cal Poly is way up there on the list, well that is good news for us and our kids.