right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Out of stater questions on Cal Poly

121IllinoisDad121IllinoisDad 30 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hey all,
First, my son's bio:
* 34 first ACT, hoping to get to 35 superscored on July 13
* 4.55 GPA weighted / 3.6 unweighted
* Varsity Soccer player at a large HS (2,900 students). Pretty good chance to be voted a team captain next year.
* City pool Life Guard from high school Sophomore year onward
* Leader for Kairos (teen Church retreat)
* Illinois (Not California) resident
* Interested in getting into the startup community in SF so Cal Poly's strong regional reputation attractive

We just spent 8 hours at Cal Poly and my son is sold. He loved the campus. Loved the engineering department. Loved the weather. Loved the access to nature. Loved SLO. Wants a biggish school so 20+K was perfect for him. For me, I loved that tuition is half that of the other OOS programs he is considering. Questions we both have after our tour:

1) Are out of state admins treated differently? (i.e. is it harder to get in out of state?) On paper you would think he is an excellent candidate but I'm curious if there is a cap on OOS.

2) Are the acceptance rates by engineering degree published anywhere? We were told my son must apply to a specific engineering program, not just the engineering college. My son's two areas of interest are Computer Systems/Software Engineering (he excelled at coding in HS) and Industrial Engineering (his long-term goal is to be on the business side and not be an engineer). If the acceptance rate of one or the other is significantly better, he would most likely apply for that major.

3) The admissions officer at the beginning of the tour mentioned they look at English and Math portions of the ACT. Does that mean Science, Reading and other parts of the ACT are not considered? This will impact his ACT prep for July 13.

Thank you,
Brian

80 replies
· Reply · Share
«134

Replies to: Out of stater questions on Cal Poly

  • GumbymomGumbymom 29188 replies253 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    1) OOS applicants are placed into a separate admission pool than in-state applicants. The UC’s have CAP’s on OOS applicants but I am not aware of any CAP for CSU’s although CSU’s do give priority to local/in-state applicants. My experience is that since OOS students pay more to attend, the admit rate is higher. Unfortunately I cannot link any data to substantiate my claim other than I have followed SLO admission decisions for the last 6 years.

    2) SLO does not publish acceptance rates by major only by college but they do publish projection targets by major. For 2019, here is the following information for some of the majors. https://content-calpoly-edu.s3.amazonaws.com/ir/1/images/2019-20 Enrollment Projections for Continuing Students - no total error adj.pdf

    The projections show the FTF APPS (Full Time Freshman applications) along with FTF Target (Full Time Freshman targets).
    You take the FTF target multiply by 3 (approximate 33% yield target) and divide by the FTF applicants.

    For CS, you get 300/5378 = 5.5% projected acceptance rate
    For SE, you get 150/492 = 30% projected acceptance rate
    For IE, you get 150/218 = 68.8% projected acceptance rate

    If he is interested in CS/SE/CPE, he should apply to either one of these majors since students witching within the College of Engineering is much easier than from outside the College of Engineering.

    3) SLO admits by MCA points and major. They superscore the ACT or SAT and consider the Math/Reading sections only. The ACT Math and Reading scores are converted to SAT equivalent scores in the MCA point calculation. Here is a simple MCA point calculator to use: https://mca.netlify.com/#act

    It does give an explanation to how the MCA points are derived. A target MCA point threshold in the past has been 4700+ for Engineering applicants. You can search through this thread regarding admission results and MCA points.

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/cal-poly-san-luis-obispo/2128373-cal-poly-slo-2019-final-status.html

    SLO has added an additional “opportunity fee” of $2010/year for OOS students so just be aware of this additional cost.

    Below in the next post is a summary of the MCA point calculation.

    · Reply · Share
  • GumbymomGumbymom 29188 replies253 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    edited July 2019
    Academic MCA:

    The maximum GPA they will use is 4.2, even though you can have a higher calculated CP GPA. A 4.2 is worth 2250 MCA points. Thus, multiply your CP GPA by 535.7 and you'll get your MCA points for GPA. (Note this information may be dated since the average SLO GPA was over 4.2 for the College of Engineering in 2018). SLO uses 9-11th grades for all the a-g course requirements, caps the honors points for AP/IB courses taken 10-11th year at 8 semesters.

    The UC GPA calculator can be used to determine the SLO GPA but input 9-11th grades and give yourself 1 extra honors point for AP/IB classes taken 10-11th grades only up to 8 semesters. The Capped weighted GPA with 9th grades = the SLO GPA.

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/

    The next biggest thing is test scores. The odd thing, likely because they wanted it to total a nice round number, is that the max score is 1650, even though the max SAT score is 1600. Multiply the total of your best SAT CR and your best SAT math by 1.03125 to get your MCA test points. If you took the ACT, they convert and vice versa.

    The third largest section is the class rigor score, worth 750 points. In this section you get zero points for meeting the minimum admission requirements and adders for more than the minimum. The bonuses in order of power are (min semesters/max total semesters/bonus per extra semester/total possible bonus): math 6/10/125/500, lab science 4/8/50/200, English 8/10/50/100, foreign language 4/8/25/100, visual performance 2/4/25/50, no bonus points for social sciences or electives. As with GPA, you can actually score higher than the maximum, but 750 is the most they will count.

    Finally, work and ECs, worth 350 points. Work (hours per week/bonus): 0/0, 1-5/20, 6-10/40, 11-15/60, 16-20/80, 21+/100, add 50 points if work is major related. ECs (hours per week/bonus): 0/0, 1-5/30, 6-10/60, 11-15/90, ‪16-20/120‬, 21+/150, add 60 points for leadership role.

    There are also other Non-Academic Bonus Points:

    CA vet/701, Hayden Partner School/700, faculty/staff dependent/700, service area of CP/500, either parent with some or no HS, but who DIDN'T GRADUATE FROM HS/300 (per parent).

    College of Engineering 2018 Freshman profile (2019 data not available as of yet).

    Applied: 19,071 Admitted: 4,337 Enrolled: 1,123
    Average SLO GPA: 4.21 Average ACT: 32 Average SAT: 1481
    edited July 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • lkg4answerslkg4answers 1866 replies213 threads Senior Member
    My experience is that since OOS students pay more to attend, the admit rate is higher. Unfortunately I cannot link any data to substantiate my claim other than I have followed SLO admission decisions for the last 6 years.
    Gumbymom is much more educated about admissions and stats than I am but one UC admissions presentation said that admit rate for OOS is higher because yield is lower. So they have a target for the number of OOS they want to enroll and they need to admit more applicants in order to yield that target.
    · Reply · Share
  • GumbymomGumbymom 29188 replies253 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    @121IllinoisDad: @lkg4answers makes a great point since many OOS applicants will not attend due to costs and not realizing they SLO offers little to no financial aid to non-residents.
    · Reply · Share
  • GumbymomGumbymom 29188 replies253 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    edited July 2019
    I found this quote from an article about SLO and their acceptance rate for 2019 Freshman. Overall acceptance rate was 28%. It does not however state how many of the OOS applicants actually enrolled.

    The most out-of-state applications came from Washington, where 1,397 applied and 901 were accepted, an acceptance rate of 64.5%. Large numbers of students were also selected from Colorado (338), Oregon (245), and Texas (173). All seven high school students from Arkansas who applied to Cal Poly were selected, making it the only state with a 100 percent acceptance rate.

    Read more here: https://www.sanluisobispo.com/latest-news/article230678879.html#storylink=cpy
    edited July 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • lkg4answerslkg4answers 1866 replies213 threads Senior Member
    Funny about Arkansas. I wonder how many of those 7 students chose to attend. :smile:
    · Reply · Share
  • 121IllinoisDad121IllinoisDad 30 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @Gumbymom, this is great information. Thank you! I just went through my son's MCA calculation and I think he's somewhere between 4700 and 4850 depending on how conservative or bold we are in calculating work and ECs. That area looks like it is self-policed which I don't really like. I can see the temptation for students to inflate their work and EC activity. I also don't really like the ethical dilemmas introduced here. These questions below are a bit of stream of consciousness so apologies in advance but they are all rooted in how do we define "hours" and what constitutes an EC. For example, he does a week long retreat every summer for our church. Would he count every hour of the day for this week or do just waking hours? (same question for out of state soccer tournaments with overnights) What about travel time to/from work & ECs? For lifeguarding, he had to learn CPR. Does his studying for this count? Do I count the time each Sunday that we're in church (which I never thought of as an EC)? Getting more obscure, the summer of his Freshman year he became obsessed with juggling his soccer ball. He worked on it for hours every day - eventually learning the round the world. He even juggled >1,000 times without dropping once. Can I add this to the time invested in Varsity Soccer? He's also working out and is going to the gym 2-3 times a week (I think mostly to impress the ladies). Is lifting weights with a buddy an EC - perhaps also tied to soccer? All that would add up and probably bump him up a notch or even two on the EC scale. Also, for work: He didn't work at all as a Freshman because he couldn't drive. He started lifeguarding the summer after his Sophomore year. Do I need to average these first 1.5 years of high school as a year and a half of zero or can I just go with the last 12-24 months? I just Googled MCA extra-curricular guidelines and found nothing so I can see the temptation for anyone (my son included) to be a bit cavalier in their numbers.

    Please don't feel compelled to answer each individual question. Really just looking for guidance on this piece.
    · Reply · Share
  • GumbymomGumbymom 29188 replies253 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    For the EC’s, they are a small part of the MCA calculation but I agree that the information is on the honor system. It really depends upon what is he actively doing on the Church retreats? He is acting as a counselor? Is he helping individuals in the community? Travel time for EC’s should not be included. CPR as a job requirement is probably not considered an EC nor working out in the gym unless he as acting as an instructor nor learning skills to perfect his soccer play unless it is part of his regular soccer practice. I would imagine between the life guarding and his soccer, he would have at least 21+ hours. You would handle the EC hours the same as on the UC or common application except you do not list them for SLO. Will he list his gym workouts, his overnight soccer tournament travel time or perfecting his soccer ball juggling as separate EC’s on these applications? I think not. Do not over think this area.

    I took each individual activity hours divided that by 52 weeks to get hours/week. So it is basically a ball park figure with a range so anything over 21+hours will be given the same weight.

    · Reply · Share
  • lkg4answerslkg4answers 1866 replies213 threads Senior Member
    @121IllinoisDad you mention freshman and sophomore year. SLO wants you to calculate the hours averaged over the 52 weeks prior to the application. So basically December 2018 - November 2019.

    Most CSUs just evaluate GPA and test scores. https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/eligibility-index I believe these questions are SLO's effort to look at more than that. Supplemental questions have to be quantitative so they can be entered into the computer with all the other stats/data. I agree that it isn't ideal.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5660 replies124 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    If you haven't found it yet, there's a MCA calculator here:
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/cal-poly-san-luis-obispo/2128874-understanding-the-mca-plus-calculator.html
    It is accurate. Make sure you use the GPA calculator linked there. With a 3.6 UW GPA (CP does not care about a given high school's weighting), being very liberal with ECs, and assuming max rigor, I'm having a hard time coming up with the MCA range you reported above.

    If you haven't found this, it's helpful:
    https://viewbook.calpoly.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018_freshman_tips.pdf
    Every year applicants, sometimes otherwise perfect candidates, get rejected for not completing their application correctly.

    As for ECs, I agree with @Gumbymom. Many of the things you posit in your stream of consciousness, wouldn't/didn't rise to the level for my son. He too could juggle 1000+ unbroken and was the captain of his team. He only counted actual team organized time on the field though. He viewed juggling like he viewed video games, a fun outlet to blow off steam, a break from studying.

    I think your son will likely hit 21+ hours even if you don't stretch. Let your/his own honesty and ethics guide you. If it seems absurd, counting sleeping hours and travel hours for example, it probably is.

    The calculator says hours of "paid work," but that's incorrect. According to the document linked above: "Work experience can be paid or not. Internships or volunteer programs are absolutely applicable to this section."

    The thing that caused my ears to prick up was his desire to join a startup, but his lack of interest in actually being an engineer. Those are typically mutually exclusive, at least in the early stages. There's limited money to go around. They typically only spend it on employees who bring technical skills to the table. More often than not, that means passing on new grads because they are challenging to vet. They don't typically have a management structure beyond the founders and early tech hires. They are almost always individuals with a technical background.

    Virtually no company will hire an engineer to manage who hasn't worked as an engineer doing technical work. According to nearly every hiring engineer in the engineering forum the BS/MBA back to back is nearly the kiss of death. There is one exception, IE, because they are primarily involved at the system level. IE and startup is not a good match though because there's a lot of work that needs to be done before things like production and efficiency become germane.

    IE is probably his best route into CP. I'm afraid that the 3.6 will hamstring him for CS and probably even SE. Of the 5000 total MCA points, 2250 are for GPA. Even if AP/IB (honors doesn't count for OOS applicants) bring him up to say 3.8, even 3.9, the median CENG GPA was 4.13 last year and probably higher for this year's crop. It's the largest single factor by a pretty significant margin. If he goes the IE route though, he would have to be content coming into a startup at a later stage, probably after B series funding.

    My son was fortunate to get a look from several startups and was actually hired by one. It was not easy though and he had a stellar record. He had a high BS GPA, something pretty challenging at Cal Poly as they graduate a 4.0 in any engineering major about once a decade. He also received recognition for his graduate work. He was involved in engineering clubs (SAE and CubeSat) and had 3 years of internships. What sealed it for him though was his Senior Project and his MS thesis. They just happened to be in line with what the startups he interviewed with were looking for. It really is very granular for a new grad hoping to land in a startup. He got lots of "We're looking for someone with experience." Much of it is who you know. Much of it is also related to lucky timing.

    My suggestion is that he embrace building a technical background and get some tech experience before trying to parlay that into the business side.

    BTW, my son just finished his BS/MS in ME. If you have any specific questions that you don't want to ask on the forum, feel free to PM me.

    Good luck!

    edited July 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5660 replies124 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    Oh, I forgot, OOS vs in state and ease of admission. It has widely been assumed that OOS is easier. They rank all in state applicants for every major together in one pool and all OOS applicants together, again by major, in a separate pool. The thing is 85% of the slots (give or take) are reserved for in state students. That leaves OOS students competing for the other 15%. I've had a Final Status thread over the last few years so future applicants can see how they might stack up. It's a limited sample for sure, but my gestalt, at least for CENG majors, is that there hasn't been a noticeable difference between in state and OOS applicants when it comes to the lowest reported MCA that was accepted. I think the overall higher acceptance rate for OOS reported above is skewed by non-CENG majors which aren't as well known outside of the state. Like the others though, that's my gut feeling based on watching the Final Status threads. I've never seen it actually broken down.

    Also, as far as cost, the Opportunity Grant scales. Once it's fully implemented, CP will still be cheaper than the UCs, Michigan, etc. from OOS. I believe, and don't quote me, that your son's class will have an additional fee of just over $4000/year. That does show in the current COA, but not yet for your son's class. It's scheduled to rise yearly, but each class pays what they paid as first years.

    https://opportunitygrant.calpoly.edu/
    edited July 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • 121IllinoisDad121IllinoisDad 30 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @eyemgh, I may be off on MCA, it’s my first attempt at this. I plugged his stats into this website: https://mca.netlify.com/

    All of this is new to me so here are some assumptions I made:
    1) maximum GPA allowed is 4.2 so I assume that is weighted? How else do you get above 4? His weighted GPA is 4.55. Unweighted per the school is 3.6. He is taking every honors/AP possible and he usually winds up with one B a semester. Also, unweighted includes PE which he has admitted he never makes up sick/absent days (upper Midwest, colds happen). Hence, I plugged in 4.2.
    2) Courses taken. This was an assumption since he is taking the hardest workload possible. I used every max here except performing arts which I picked the minimum.

    The only other variables were ACT scores and ECs. ACT is 33 math and 34 Reading Comp. Off memory, I think both translate to 760s on SAT. On ACT, the current math score is the lowest he’s had in practice tests and we have two more tries so that will hopefully see a boost. On ECs, this kid is a far better version of me and should have that covered in spades.

    On engineering/business, we’re on the same page. His goal is to flip into the business side post MBA. He has legit quant skills but he is a people person and knows that’s his ultimate strength.

    Right now we’re watching a sunset in Pismo and both my sons (brought my 15 yo too) are definitely California dreamin!





    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5660 replies124 threads Senior Member
    We were just in Pismo last week. What a nice area! Make sure you hit High Street Deli while you're in SLO. Ventana Grill was a surprise hit in Pismo. Go check out Avila Beach too. That's where my son tended to hang with his friends for sunsets.

    The UCs and CSUs use their own weighting system. I'll link the calculator below. It is possible to go slightly above 4.2, but not by much. It's because CP counts 9th grade. That dilutes the power of the AP/IB classes. The MCA cuts off at 4.2.

    Good luck. I can say first hand that it's a great place to go visit a kid in college!

    https://rogerhub.com/gpa-calculator-uc/
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 5491 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    I post this knowing the OP is from Illinois https://admissions.illinois.edu/Apply/Freshman/profile
    Look at the engineering profile. Keeping his grades up senior year is important.
    But like 3-4 years ago our high school counselor from Illinois went to Slo and was blown away by the school. There was an uptick to promote Midwest schools to Slo and gave my son and me a personal video tour complete with Mountains.. ⛰️. My sons stats were aligned on the upper end for the school but it just wasn't on our radar at that time. Since learning about it, it is an awesome school.
    Talk to your schools counselor and see if they are still trying to target kids from the Midwest.
    As you know from your other thread my kids at Michigan in Industrial engineering. So all his college Ecs are business based since he is using IOE as a basis into the business world but tech business world. He is a rising Junior and doing an international engineering internship with a known tech company but on the Practice Management team. He is learning Agile and scrum etc. Both of his bosses and team heads are Industrial engineers and one reason they grabbed him after his interview. Not saying the most conventional approach but think you can enter this world from different aspects but he still have a ways to go to see where he lands. He has done more business things then a lot of his friends at the Ross Business school at this point so far but all with a technical component.
    His rising freshman year he was part of a business leadership summer program and his lead was a specialist in start ups. All at Michigan. So make sure the school you go to has things like this that puts your son in the best path of his combined interest. Most good schools with engineering and business of some type should be able to accomplish this.
    edited July 2019
    · Reply · Share
  • svlab112svlab112 648 replies7 threads Member
    With the CSUs only counting 8 semesters of AP classes in the weighted calculation and 3.6 UW, I would estimate his CP SLO weighted should be around 3.9-4.0 depending on number of classes. OOS “honors “ courses are not weighted in the the GPA only AP/IB.

    SLO also wants 8th grade courses and grades for foreign language and math if accelerated. For example Spanish 1 taken in middle school and starting in HS with Spanish 2.

    CP SLO has “tips” for completing the application on their website. For example “work” can be paid or unpaid.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5660 replies124 threads Senior Member
    Remember, only a-g classes are counted (I linked an intro article below). It's a concept most CA applicants understand as matter of fact, but is a little confusing to us out of staters.

    Another thing that trips up OOS applicants, especially those that attend college prep schools is missing the f requirement, visual and performing arts, completely.

    @svlab112 made an interesting point about Poly that I want to expand on. The more a-g classes a student has taken, the worse their CP GPA will be. It's a paradox in the UC/CSU GPA calculator. More classes would be seen by most as an advantage, but in this paradigm, they dilute the power of the 8 AP/IB semesters.

    https://innovateschools.org/parent-guide/parent-guide-what-are-the-a-g-requirements/
    · Reply · Share
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    At a 3.6 unweighted GPA, the UC GPA erosion for taking many a-g classes does not take effect, because the UC GPA will be below 4 and A’s would therefore help the GPA. This really only affects students with perfect or near perfect unweighted GPAs. The erosion is not much, around .01 to .015 per class if the person is above 4.3 UC GPA.
    · Reply · Share
  • lkg4answerslkg4answers 1866 replies213 threads Senior Member
    At a 3.6 unweighted GPA, the UC GPA erosion for taking many a-g classes does not take effect, because the UC GPA will be below 4 and A’s would therefore help the GPA. This really only affects students with perfect or near perfect unweighted GPAs. The erosion is not much, around .01 to .015 per class if the person is above 4.3 UC GPA.
    And although not perfect, I believe SLO tries to compensate for this by assigning bonus points for the extra years of classes taken over the minimum requirement.
    · Reply · Share
  • 121IllinoisDad121IllinoisDad 30 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Alright, I'm thoroughly confused on how to calculate his GPA and what courses count toward his totals. Just dug into Cal Poly's website and there is some help here but not enough to really offer clarity. If there are links and/or documents on how to calculate this please let me know. It sounds like my son's decision to challenge himself in HS might have backfired. :( Frustratingly, he has friends with similar weighted GPAs to his but far fewer honors courses and even the honors courses they took were on an easier track. He has more Bs than some peers because his workload was much harder. As a Freshman, I remember him working past 1 AM almost nightly and a few all nighters because AP World History was such a bear. Life was pretty miserable that year.

    Visual/Performing Arts is an issue too. I just reviewed his courses and being in STEM, his electives in HS have all been engineering related. He won't like this but I assume he could take a JUCO course or similar to meet this requirement? Or perhaps he could add an elective his Senior year (he does have a free period). The sad irony is he qualifies in spirit, just not on paper. He acted in plays up until 7th grade and even got an opportunity to try out for a professional play at Steppenwolf. He only quit because his buddies teased him that acting was for not for real men. Damn peer pressure.

    We went back to CP yesterday and as we left my son said "Dad, if I don't get accepted here I'm going to cry." Ugh. Right now this place is his #1 by a country mile and I can see why. Its his ideal engineering school plopped down in the middle of paradise.
    · Reply · Share
  • eyemgheyemgh 5660 replies124 threads Senior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168, we're drifting into the weeds a bit, but GPAs below 4.0 are also diluted if one assumes the same GPA. For example, a 3.5 with 12 semesters of As, 12 semesters of Bs and 8 honors semesters will have a higher GPA than a 3.5 wil 16 semesters of As and 16 semesters of Bs. The effect is minimal for any GPA, but impacts all GPAs. All the honors bump does is effectively raise 8 semesters up one notch. Raise an A to an A+, a B to an A, or a C to a B, the net effect is the same is diluted by more hours.

    @lkg4answers, that is how CP determines "rigor." The GPA is not impacted. It does raise the MCA though. As you say, no system is perfect. What is nice about CP is that it is objective.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity