Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Controversial Cal Poly Ranks High for ROI

OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
edited August 2013 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
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.
Post edited by OsakaDad on

Replies to: Controversial Cal Poly Ranks High for ROI

  • thelazydaisythelazydaisy Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Wow, so many schools I thought would be higher up were not and vice versa!
    Thanks for sharing :)
  • slolearnerslolearner Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    The 2013 numbers are here College Education Value Rankings - PayScale 2013 College ROI Report Sorting by annual ROI without aid Cal Poly is pretty high on the list, in the middle teens if I read the report correctly. The concept of ROI for an education is Ouija board stuff to be sure. Lots of non financial reasons to get an education, the school teachers who taught our kids to read often do not get a fair return on their hard earned investment in education, but our kids may get a large benefit from it. In any case Cal Poly looks to be in good company by this data.
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    @slolearner -- Wow, that is really good news. In just one year Cal Poly moved from #62 to #37 jumping twenty five spots up. What really gets me is how the 30 Year ROI went from $542,700 to $1,151,000 in just one year as well. Very funky math, but if they publish it there must be method to the madness. This clearly puts Cal Poly in the top 1/3 of the elite 150 (for both the in-state and out-of-state categories).

    Interestingly, it also puts Cal Poly way above USCD in both in-state and out-of-state categories with UCSD at #61 for in-state and #95 for out-of-state. Cal Poly is #37 and #47 respectively. Of even more controversy, UC Berkeley is at #34 with Cal Poly at #37 for in-state with Cal Poly having a higher ROI for full tuition at 9.0% vs 8.3% for UC Berkeley. With financial aid it is UCB at 10.9% and Cal Poly at 10.3%, a near neck and neck tie. Cal Poly beats out UCB decisively for out-of-state ranked at #47 with UCB at #52.

    So, in just one year, Cal Poly rose to be 7th of all schools both public and private in California and 2nd for public schools in a near dead heat with UCB.

  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    Looks like Cal Poly has already seen this info. Here is the entire article from the Cal Poly website:

    Cal Poly Again Among Top 20 Public Schools in PayScale Survey

    University Jumps to No. 37 Overall in Latest Rankings of College Tuition Return on Investment

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — For the second consecutive year, Cal Poly ranked in the nation’s top 20 public universities for college tuition return on investment, according to PayScale. Additionally, Cal Poly’s overall ranking among all universities jumped to 37 from 62.

    PayScale’s study analyzed more than 1,000 U.S. universities and colleges.

    The 2013 report ranked Cal Poly’s ROI ninth out of 437 public universities. When looking at graduates’ mid-career salaries, Cal Poly alumni ranked 13th among 452 state schools across the nation.

    Rankings such as PayScale’s illustrate the positive outcomes of a campus community dedicated to student success and faculty committed to Learn by Doing, said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong.

    “It’s always gratifying when Cal Poly is praised for the value of its education,” Armstrong said. “Implicitly, this ranking acknowledges the excellence of a Cal Poly education. Employers pay our graduates so well because they know that Cal Poly alumni are innovative leaders and hard-working, creative thinkers.

    “Couple our students’ intense academic focus with Cal Poly’s renowned Learn by Doing approach, and you have graduates who are life-long learners, an invaluable trait for personal and professional success,” Armstrong said.

    The PayScale report ranked the cost of college, including the sum of tuition and fees, room and board, and books and supplies. The study used on-campus living costs for room and board. The calculations also used a weighted average for the number of years it takes students to graduate. from the respective schools. For public schools, the analysis is conducted for both in-state and out-of-state tuition.

    For a complete listing and more information, including the methodology used to calculate the ROI, go to College Education Value Rankings - PayScale 2013 College ROI Report.
  • en3mesen3mes Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    Very interesting. Thanks for the info.
  • IndvoterIndvoter Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    From admitted students day at CP. 92% of Seniors have jobs in their areas of study 6 months after graduation.

    Tough to beat. LOTS of companies in N. California seem to have CP interns this summer. I am not sure why you would go to a private school if there is a similar major at CP. Lot of factors involved, of course, but clearly getting a good job upon graduation is up there.
  • tigerashtigerash Registered User Posts: 590 Member
    wow this makes me love cal poly even more :)
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member
    Here is the latest update on Cal Poly ROI: Million Dollar ROI Colleges (Public Universities)

    Cal Poly now ranks 9th nationally for all public schools for ROI. Top 10 nationally!
This discussion has been closed.