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Questions on WUE schools in California (mostly Cal State's)

snooznsnoozn 990 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,027 Senior Member
I'm hoping to be lazy by getting quick input here! S18 is eligible for WUE and interested in going to school in California (or east coast, but no WUE there!) He wants a typical 4-year college experience, so I'd like to quickly drop any commuter/suitcase schools off the list. He prefers a city of 100K+ and definitely not rural/middle of nowhere. Aside from that, he's interested in computer science and business majors.

Here's the WUE list (city names are all Cal State's):

Bakersfield
Channel Islands
Chico
Dominguez Hills
East Bay
Monterey Bay
Northridge
Sacramento
San Bernardino
San Marcos
Stanislaus
Pomona (Poly)
Humboldt State
UC-Merced
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Replies to: Questions on WUE schools in California (mostly Cal State's)

  • GumbymomGumbymom 27189 replies133 discussionsForum Champion UC Posts: 27,322 Forum Champion
    edited June 2017
    Majority of the Cal States are commuter schools since they were setup to give local applicants access to a 4 year university. You really cannot have a large city 100K+ without having a more commuter type campus.

    The small town more rural Cal states would be Channel Islands (although close to the City of Ventura/Camarillo), Chico State, Monterey Bay, Stanislaus, Humboldt state, Bakersfield and UC-Merced.

    Suburban campuses but near larger cities of Los Angeles, San Diego and Oakland; Cal Poly Pomona, San Marcos, Northridge, East Bay, Dominguez Hills.

    The Cal States within a large city would be Sacramento State or San Bernardino.

    The Cal States which offer the typical 4 year University experience also happen to be in small towns such as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (not on the list), San Diego State (not on the list) and Humboldt (may be too isolated/rural). I would look at Channel Islands or Cal Poly if he wants that 4 year experience from the WUE list.

    Listed below is a link for the CSU majors and impaction. Make sure that all majors of interest are available at all the campuses listed since there can be major exclusions for some these WUE schools.
    CS is not offered at Cal Poly Pomona for WUE students for example. Usually impacted majors will not be available through the WUE program.

    https://www.calstate.edu/sas/documents/ImpactedProgramsMatrix.pdf
    edited June 2017
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    I'd like to quickly drop any commuter/suitcase schools off the list. He prefers a city of 100K+ and definitely not rural/middle of nowhere.
    As indicated in the previous post, these goals are contradictory. If a CSU campus is within commuting distance of a large population, then you should automatically expect that large numbers of students will elect to save big $$ by living at home and commuting.

    In general, the CSUs with the best social and residential atmospheres are ones that are "rural/middle of nowhere". If a CSU campus is located far from the nearest city, then commuting becomes impractical. In that case, you should expect that virtually all of the students will be residential, and they will stick around campus on nights and weekends, because it is too far to go home.

    Of the schools on the WUE list, my top choices for the traditional, residential 4-year experience would be Chico State and Humboldt State. But they both fall into the "rural/middle of nowhere" category.
    edited June 2017
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  • snooznsnoozn 990 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,027 Senior Member
    Thank you for the info @Gumbymom and @Corbett. Sounds like in general the mission of the CSU's does not mesh with what S is looking for. Ah well, I'll have to ask him if the appeal of CA is sufficient to live "in the middle of nowhere." Probably not, so good to know.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    @snoozn WUE seems like it could be a great deal for students in the Western US, and in many cases it can be. However, you'll notice that many of the most attractive and popular state schools in the West aren't included in the WUE program. For example, the non-eligible schools include UC Berkeley, UCLA, and most other UCs; popular CSUs like Cal Poly SLO, San Diego State, Long Beach State, SF State, and San Jose State; and top public schools in other Western states like Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado, and Colorado Mines.

    In general, the most popular and prestigious schools -- often located in cool metro areas -- are the ones the most likely to attract students across long distances. And long-distance students can't commute, so these schools are the ones most likely to have lots of residential students. Unfortunately, those are also the schools least likely to participate in the WUE program. Why offer discounted tuition to out-of-staters, if you get plenty of applications from out-of-staters willing to pay full price?

    In California, the state schools that do participate in WUE tend to be the less popular or prestigious options -- often located outside the cool metro areas. Such schools tend to primarily draw local students, which typically means lots of commuters. The exceptions are the more isolated schools that are not within commuting distance of major cities. I personally think that smaller California college towns like Chico, San Luis Obispo, Davis, or Arcata are great places for a traditional residential college experience, but not everyone sees it that way.

    Alternatively, there are some metropolitan WUE schools outside of California that might be worth considering, Nevada-Reno, Nevada-Las Vegas, Arizona State (in Phoenix), New Mexico (in Albuquerque), Colorado-Denver, or Colorado-Colorado Springs.



    edited June 2017
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76579 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,245 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    University of Hawaii is in the state's major metro area and is in WUE. However, it does have a substantial commuter population (57% of frosh live in the dorms, implying 43% commute from where they lived before).

    Of the California WUE schools listed above, UCM (79%), CSUMB (84%), CSUCI (61%), and HSU (88%) have relatively high percentages of frosh living in the dorms. But they may not be in as big towns as he wants.
    edited June 2017
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3394 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,417 Senior Member
    I agree with @Corbett regarding the relative merits of the WUE schools.

    Of the urban options, ASU is probably the best choice (also has Barrett Honors). It draws a lot of students from CA because it's relatively affordable and easier to gain admission than the more competitive UCs. UNM and Colorado-Denver are also decent picks.

    Depending on your son's stats and interests, he might take a look at Western Washington. While Bellingham is not a bustling metropolis (population about 100K), it has everything a student might need, is in a stunning location, and is located midway between Seattle and Vancouver (about 1.5-2 hours by car to either, depending on traffic and time to clear customs.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76579 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,245 Senior Member
    Some have mentioned Arizona State University as a WUE school. Note, however, that WUE tuition is only offered at ASU's Downtown, Polytechnic, and West campuses, rather than the Tempe campus which is the one that most people think of.

    http://wue.wiche.edu/search_results.jsp?searchType=all
    https://campus.asu.edu/
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  • CorinthianCorinthian 1782 replies61 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,843 Senior Member
    Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ is a WUE school. Weather is nice, pretty mountains, nice town, residential college experience. NAU actually draws a lot of CA students who can't get into UC's but are looking for a residential college experience at a reasonable price. Would OP's kid settle for being next to but not actually in CA?
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  • CorinthianCorinthian 1782 replies61 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,843 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus is right about ASU-Tempe including Barrett Honors not being WUE. But they do give decent merit aid and have a scholarship calculator on the website where you can put in your GPA and test scores and see what merit aid you're eligible for. https://scholarships.asu.edu/estimator
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  • youceeyoucee 1312 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,312 Senior Member
    I don't know how it is now, but Chico used to have a pretty decent reputation for Computer Science based on the companies that recruited there.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    NAU actually draws a lot of CA students who can't get into UC's but are looking for a residential college experience at a reasonable price.
    This is quite true. But NAU seems like (say) Chico State: traditional residential college experience in attractive college town -- however, town is not very large and is far from major metro areas. Doesn't seem to be what the OP's kid is looking for.
    edited June 2017
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,378 Senior Member
    Someone upstream mentioned Channel Islands for the 4-year experience. I live a few miles away and am on campus frequently. While it is a beautiful campus, I would not classify it as a college that will meet the typical 4-year experience. The campus is located about 2 miles outside of Camarillo, which has a population of around 65,000. The campus is fairly isolated and is in a very agricultural setting. While there is a bus into town, and then a free trolley and a fixed route bus around town, transportation is somewhat limited due to the remote location. I love the campus-set at the old Camarillo State Mental Hospital- it is beautiful. Dorms are relatively new and very nice. Class size is small and very personal. However, for anyone looking for a more typical 4-year experience, the campus has a large commuter population and if you drive through on a weekend, the whole place is pretty deserted. It would be a great campus for someone looking for a small, quiet setting, but anyone interested should definitely tour it to see if it is a fit.
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  • CorbettCorbett 3434 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    the California WUE schools listed above, UCM (79%), CSUMB (84%), CSUCI (61%), and HSU (88%) have relatively high percentages of frosh living in the dorms. But they may not be in as big towns as he wants.
    Someone upstream mentioned Channel Islands for the 4-year experience. I live a few miles away and am on campus frequently. While it is a beautiful campus, I would not classify it as a college that will meet the typical 4-year experience.
    I suspect that "% of frosh living in dorms" is not a totally accurate indicator of "residential vs commuter school".

    If the % is low, meaning that the school has little on-campus housing even for frosh, then OK, it's probably a commuter school. But a school might not have a traditional residential atmosphere even if the % of on-campus frosh is high.

    I don't think there is any simple, easily available metric that documents "traditional residential atmosphere vs commuter". The traditional/residential schools are more likely to have NCAA football teams, and the commuter schools are less likely to have football teams, but exceptions exist. For example, I think Humboldt State and Chico State are the most residential WUE options in CA; HSU has football but CSU doesn't. The only other WUE school in CA with football is Sacramento State, but they have a commuter school reputation.

    edited June 2017
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  • MagnetronMagnetron 2640 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Chico would qualify, plenty of kids living on campus and the surrounding houses and apartments, easy walk to a fairly vibrant downtown area. My Bay Area nephew just graduated from there and really enjoyed his four years. Definitely keep that one on the list.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76579 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,245 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    Forgot to mention CSUC (Chico), which has 62% of frosh living in the dorms.

    CSUCI is also quite small for a CSU, so that may account for it being a less lively campus than CSUC (which is about three times as large). CSUMB, HSU, and UCM are also relatively small.
    edited June 2017
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  • simba9simba9 3244 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,264 Senior Member
    Chico would work. It has a very good reputation for CS. I used to live near there and the town was a fascinating mix of cowboys and college students.

    Chico State and Yale are actually my two favorite college campuses.
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  • snooznsnoozn 990 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,027 Senior Member
    Chico State sounds like the only workable possibility, so that goes on the list. Thanks for the input!

    I like the sound of a lot of the other WUE schools mentioned (WWU in particular was on D17's list and we loved our visit), but S18 is absolute in only wanting northeastern US, Chicago, or California. He will have to pick one in-state safety, but otherwise I leave the location up to him.
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  • philbegasphilbegas 2924 replies73 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,997 Senior Member
    What state are you from? I don't see the point in paying for CSUs in crappy places unless you're getting in-state tuition. I've traveled around a lot within CA (lived in both so-cal and nor-cal) and it is not worth coming to CA if you're living in somewhere truly terrible like Bakersfield. On that basis, coupled with the desire for non-commuter campuses, the only CSU/UCs out of those I'd bother keeping are:

    Channel Islands
    Chico
    Pomona (Poly)
    Humboldt State
    UC-Merced
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  • snooznsnoozn 990 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,027 Senior Member
    @philbegas we're in Colorado, but S really wants to go oos. With WUE, the ones listed are 150% in-state tuition, so a pretty nice savings over oos. I put together some info on Chico, which I liked from I've read, but S was not impressed for whatever reason. So now the only California school he's looking at is Santa Clara. I was a bit relieved since Santa Clara sounds much nicer for long distance travel!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76579 replies666 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,245 Senior Member
    However, SCU is private and expensive, and may not have that good financial aid.
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