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Proposed Fee Increase notice for OOS Applicants to Cal Poly SLO

csfmapcsfmap Registered User Posts: 420 Member
edited February 10 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
It’s not a done deal, but out of state applicants should be aware of plans to significantly raise the amount of fees they will have to pay starting Fall 2018. The University wants OOS students to fund grants for low income students from California in order to increase the diversity at Cal Poly. There will be no increase in fees for in-state students for this purpose; this will only affect non-residents. Also be aware that the listed tuition amount ($21,312) is for 15 credits/quarter. Any credits over 15 costs an additional $264/credit (~$1056/class). The degree requirements for some majors require more than 180 credits and if you want to add a minor(s), there will be extra credit hours.

Here is the letter (copied and pasted):

A message from President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and Vice President Jozi De Leon:

Cal Poly Opportunity Grant and Proposed Fee

Dear Campus Community,

Cal Poly is committed to an educational environment where students from all backgrounds have the same opportunities to learn and succeed. Still, we know many qualified students turn down the opportunity to come to Cal Poly simply because of the cost of attendance.

With this in mind, I'm reaching out to you to announce the beginning of a campus-wide consultative process for a new grant and proposed out-of-state student fee that would create new opportunities for high-achieving, low-income California students.

Cal Poly is proposing the Cal Poly Opportunity Grant, which would provide financial assistance to California students who meet the university's rigorous academic admission requirements, but can't afford the cost of attendance. The grant would provide financial aid to students as early as fall 2018 and initially support the lowest income bracket among prospective students. It would eventually expand to support students from a broader range of low-income levels.

Given racial and ethnic minorities and first-generation students are over-represented among lower-income households, the Cal Poly Opportunity Grant would allow the university to increase the diversity of its student population. By serving a greater cross-section of California students, we can create a campus community that better reflects the diversity of our state and provides students with a rich intercultural experience.

To fund the Cal Poly Opportunity Grant, the university is proposing a new campus-based fee, the Cal Poly Opportunity Fee. The fee would be assessed on all newly enrolled non-California-resident students starting in fall 2018. All current students would be exempt from the fee.

As proposed, incoming out-of-state students in fall 2018 would pay an additional $2,010 a year and continue to pay the same annual fee during their undergraduate tenure at Cal Poly. Each subsequent incoming class of out-of-state students will pay an increased amount until the 2021 class (when the fee is fully phased in), as follows:

Fall 2018: $2,010
Fall 2019: $4,020
Fall 2020: $6,030
Fall 2021: $8,040

The proposal includes a provision allowing for the fee to be adjusted up to $2,700 per year for a given incoming class, if needed, to fund the Cal Poly Opportunity Grant. The combination of total tuition and the Cal Poly Opportunity Fee for out-of-state students would never exceed 90 percent of the comparable tuition and fees at a UC. In addition, the percentage of out-of-state students admitted to Cal Poly will continue to be capped at 15 percent, which is the current level.

Here's how you can stay informed:

Learn more about the proposal at opportunitygrant.calpoly.edu and email questions to [email protected]

Attend an open forum:

Friday, February 16, 2018
1:10 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Baker (No. 180), room 114

Thursday, February 22, 2018
11:10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (UU Hour)
Baker (No. 180), room 102

Thursday, March 8, 2018
6:10 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Fisher Science (No. 33), room 285

Out-of-state students are also invited to attend the following forum:

Friday, February 16, 2018
9:10 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Science Building (No. 52), room E-28

Students can also share their thoughts on the proposal through a formal intake form available on the home page of the Cal Poly Portal from Feb. 12 through March 14. As a helpful reminder tool to submit comments, students will receive pop-up messages in their portals beginning Feb. 19.

Thank you in advance for considering and providing your input regarding this important initiative.


President Jeffrey D. Armstrong
Vice President Jozi De Leon
Post edited by vonlost on

Replies to: Proposed Fee Increase notice for OOS Applicants to Cal Poly SLO

  • CopperlineX2CopperlineX2 Registered User Posts: 510 Member
    Absurd. Cal Poly has gotten too big for their britches. It is still part of the massively underfunded CSU system. Any out of state family who puts up with this nonsense vs other decent options is crazy. They will switch to semesters, you will be caught in the middle, plus be paying these absurd fees and fighting tooth & nail to get the classes you need so you can get out of that money pit.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,819 Senior Member
    @CopperlineX2, I wouldn't be excited about the higher fees, but even fully phased in, Cal Poly will still be substantially less expensive than any of the UCs for out of state students. Classes are far easier to get than they were in the past. My son has never had a problem. Switching to semesters is something that CP has vigorously fought against, but will likely still lose the battle. In the end, it's a matter for each family to decide, is it worth it. Even with the higher fees, I'd still choose CP from OOS for engineering over any of the UCs with their giant lectures and TA taught labs and discussions. I say this as a parent of an out of state senior. What's your affiliation with the school? Are you a student? Parent?
  • CopperlineX2CopperlineX2 Registered User Posts: 510 Member
    @eyemgh I am a parent who grew up in SLO county & am still skeptical about CP’s meteoric rise in reputation since the late 90’s. The area is beautiful, I just worry some kids from SF, LA OOS get duped into the idea that CP is the be all end all of schools. I agree that it will always be an attractive engineering option. Many of my friends are alums & none of them were enamored with it the way SDSU kids love their school. I also think it’s a shame that job opportunities are lacking in SLO, kind of like UCSB where no one can afford to stay and your social circle scatters. Just stuff to consider. We’re in state, but I was just appalled at the prospect of another 40 K being added to anyone’s undergrad career to subsidize others’ tuition.
  • CopperlineX2CopperlineX2 Registered User Posts: 510 Member
    @eyemgh Forgot to add, I completely agree that paying $60k OOS for a UC undergrad makes little sense when you could have an excellent private school education for that price.
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,819 Senior Member
    @CopperlineX2, I'm with you there. Poly would have never hit my son's radar had he not been interested in engineering. For engineering, and for everything else for that matter, there are LOTS of great schools out there. Rankings and the internet have suckered us into believing there is a "best" school. There simply isn't.
  • WibblyWibbly Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Absolutely true on the UC, BUT as an OOS parent with a son at Poly we were comparing them to many other schools across the nation, not just California schools. The new cost will be just about the same as a Purdue or Georgia Tech when you include fees, room and board. Definitely drops the ROI calculation for CP quite heavily - had this been in place when we looked it would have taken Poly off the board for sure
  • ShawnWaxShawnWax Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    CP will definitely lose a bit of its ROI value with OOS applicants if this program comes to fruition. I don't think this will affect those OOS ROI calculations over the next two incoming classes, but once you hit Freshman class of 2020 and beyond I think there will be a lot more pause for OOS families considering CP. What really irks me most and should bother all OOS applicants with this fee is the part where "15% of gross revenue will be returned to the CSU Chancellor's Office to seed additional programs similar to the Cal Poly Opportunity Grant at scale across the system." So a portion of this new fee designed to help low income students attend Cal Poly doesn't even help do that directly. Instead OOS families end up funding the coffers of the CSU so they can build similar programs at other campuses. How in the world does that make sense?
  • csfmapcsfmap Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    edited February 13
    Here is a link to the proposal:


    Of note to me was the statement, “If necessary, (President Armstrong) noted, the proposal “includes a provision allowing for the fee to be adjusted up to $2,700 per year for a given incoming class, if needed,” but said that combined tuition and fees would be capped at 90 percent of the “comparable tuition and fees” at a school in the University of California (UC) system.”

    The fee, when totally phased in, could be $10,740 per year and only 42.5% is going directly to the grants. Current average UC tuition and fees for OOS students are $40,644. Ninety percent is $36,580 which is a huge increase over the current Cal Poly OOS list of $21,312. The potential increase is dramatic. This still has to be approved, but it gives a sense of the administration’s direction.

    Housing costs are another issue. This year, the on-campus housing costs for a double are $7154. Next year they will be $9229. The stated reason for the increase is to fund facility upgrades and maintenance; additionally, a portion of the increase will be set aside for grants to support low income students. At least this fee is shared by both in-state and OOS residents.

    The CPOG will only be supported by non-residents. Over the last six years, Cal Poly has significantly increased their enrollment. They do not have the classrooms or the number of professors needed to serve the increase in the student population. This proposed fee will do nothing to solve those issues. Off-Campus housing costs are also extremely high, in part because the demand exceeds the supply. The new dorm at Cal Poly will help, but my son’s girlfriend just received notice this week that her rent is going up $200 per month for next year.

  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 18
    Any out of state family who puts up with this nonsense vs other decent options is crazy.
    I completely agree that paying $60k OOS for a UC undergrad makes little sense when you could have an excellent private school education for that price.
    My impressions, based on the collegeconfidential forums, are that:

    (1) There are a lot of OOS students who really want to study engineering or computer science in California. Who can blame them?

    (2) Most of them don't have the stats for Caltech, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, or USC. Who does?

    (3) But most of them do have the stats to fit somewhere in the UC system or at Cal Poly. Pretty exciting, right?

    (4) Then they find out that OOS enrollment is capped at the state schools, higher stats are required for OOS applicants, the OOS tuition is high, and there is no OOS financial aid. So their Golden State dreams crash and burn.

    Seems like there is a real opportunity here for mid-level private schools in California to capitalize. Historically, they've labored in the shadow of the UCs, struggling to compete for California residents who know that tuition is way lower at the state schools. But OOS students are a game changer. For OOS applicants, a private school that offers even half-decent financial aid can turn the tables on the state schools when it comes to cost-of-attenadance.

    But there aren't that many mid-level privates with engineering schools in California to take advantage of the situation. The most obvious candidate is Santa Clara. SCU is clearly exploiting their OOS edge; the Class of 2021 was 49% OOS, and they will likely go majority OOS in the next few years. SCU is now ranked higher than Cal Poly in the USNWR "Regional University (West)" rankings, and they are adding doctoral programs, which suggests that they are seeking reclassification as a "National University" for ranking purposes. If they were reclassified, they would most likely enter the rankings above UCSC. And as a "National University", their OOS visibility would go way up, and they would likely start climbing in the rankings, with the potential to rival mid-tier UCs like Davis, Irvine, or Santa Barbara.

    If that sounds far-fetched, consider that another Catholic school, Villanova, made the jump from the "Regional University (East)" rankings to the "National University" rankings just a few years ago. Villanova is now #46 in those rankings, tied with UC Davis. SCU is only slightly behind Villanova in USNWR metrics like test scores or acceptance rates; they are commonly regarded as peers in the Catholic school community.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,404 Senior Member
    Pay to play.
    No one is forcing OOS kids to come to California.
    This is a choice.
  • ocmom1000ocmom1000 Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Santa Clara is not ranked nearly as highly in engineering as Cal Poly by US News, though I understand employers like their grads. The latest US News has them ranked #125 nationally. Honestly, when you look around the western states, there are not many options for the tier right below Berkeley/UCLA/Cal Tech/USC/Harvey Mudd/Stanford. I mean, who are its closest non-California competitors - ASU for engineering and U of Washington. And U of Washington is tough to get a direct admit into so you're gambling if you decide to go there. Cal Poly might lose the battle to ASU since they offer a ton of automatic merit aid to OOS kids but Cal Poly's small class sizes are very attractive. You can push out to Colorado where you pick up Mines and Boulder but those are very pricey for OOS kids, well north of $50K and the merit aid is minimal. I'm sure Cal Poly looked at where kids were coming from, saw what their peer competitors were charging, and figured out they were under-priced as far as OOS tuition goes.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 20
    Santa Clara is not ranked nearly as highly in engineering as Cal Poly by US News, though I understand employers like their grads. The latest US News has them ranked #125 nationally.
    USN&WR has two separate engineering rankings, for schools with and without doctoral programs in engineering.

    Until the past year or two, SCU and Cal Poly were both in the "without" ranking. I believe they were ranked comparably at that time, although I don't have the old ranking handy.

    However, SCU has been adding doctoral engineering programs. During the last year or two SCU was reclassified by USN&WR into the "with" ranking, which is far more competitive. Since the "with" and "without" rankings are completely separate, there is no way to compare School A's position in the "with" ranking to School B's position in the "without" ranking, and there is no way to determine if either school is ranked higher or lower for engineering specifically.

    The American Society for Engineering Education tracks the stats of enrolled freshmen in engineering schools. According to their 2017 numbers, SCU engineering is more selective, in terms of test scores, than engineering at Cal Poly (or at most UCs, for that matter).

    SAT Math:
    630 - 730 CP
    690 - 770 SCU

    SAT Reading:
    570 - 680 CP
    650 - 720 SCU

    ACT Composite:
    28 - 33 CP
    30 - 33 SCU


  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,819 Senior Member
    @corbett, this is getting off track, but you can't really compare the whole college between the two based on how students apply. At CP they apply competitively to major and at SCU they apply competitively to the college as a whole. CP has several majors that are not at all selective. They drag the averages down.

    When SCU was ranked in the without category, it was well below Poly. That said, I find rankings fairly bogus anyway.

    Where there is a clear difference is in facilities. CP has a distinct advantage.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited February 21
    All I'm suggesting is that a private school in CA, e.g. SCU, could be a better deal than Cal Poly (or the UCs) for an OOS student, especially if the state schools keep tacking on non-resident fees. The math would, of course, be quite different for a CA resident.

    Current Cal Poly cost of attendance:
    $39,105 OOS
    $41,070 international.
    That's without the proposed fee increases, which would ultimately add another $8,040 to these numbers.

    Current net prices at SCU for comparison:
    Family income of $48,001 - $75,000, at SCU: $21,945
    Family income of $75,001 - $110,000, at SCU: $37,021

    So SCU already seems financially competitive with CP for OOS students, and it will get even more so if the proposed fee increase goes through. And if SCU is financially competitive with CP, then it will be even more competitive with the (more expensive) UCs.
    Where there is a clear difference is in facilities. CP has a distinct advantage.
    CP has far more engineering students and more engineering programs, and probably does have better facilities. On the other hand, SCU probably has distinct advantages in other respects, such as class size, four-year graduation rate, and (for some) the Silicon Valley location (although I personally prefer the Central Coast). So there is a reasonable case that SCU is competitive in terms of non-financial factors, as well as financial ones
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,819 Senior Member
    @Corbett, Full EFC families will pay $64k/year for the privilege. WOW! :((
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