Cal Poly SLO Increasing Fees Starting Fall 2022

Office of the President

March 7, 2022

To the Campus Community:

I am writing to let you know that I have considered the many helpful comments, suggestions and criticisms received during the alternative consultation process regarding the Cal Poly College Based Fee Student Aid and Learn by Doing Plan, and that I have now reached a decision about the proposal.

The plan has the promise and potential to be one of the most transformative initiatives implemented during my tenure to-date as Cal Poly’s president. It helps solve two of the most critical challenges facing our university, which will benefit all students: 1) making our university more affordable for students from low- and middle-income California families; and 2) allowing us to move the needle on the diversity of our students in a meaningful way, so our population more closely resembles the state of California.

Further illustrating the challenge is the fact that Cal Poly competes directly with the University of California (UC) campuses for students, yet our university is more expensive than many of those campuses after considering the financial aid provided by the UCs. Implementing the CBF at Cal Poly is essential to both making our university accessible for students with financial need and continuing to provide the quality of education for which our university is known. The revenues generated by the CBF will be applied as follows: 60% will directly fund financial aid and scholarships and the remaining 40% will support Cal Poly’s unique, but higher-cost polytechnic, Learn by Doing academic programs (Learn by Doing and the teacher-scholar model).

In light of these considerations, I have decided to approve the proposal to increase the College Based Fee (CBF) for future students starting in Fall 2022. Deciding on the proposal at this time allows us to inform accepted students about their increase in the CBF and total financial aid offer before they have to commit to a school for the fall. For many applicants, the additional aid made possible by the change in the CBF will make Cal Poly more affordable.

To avoid any misunderstanding, I want to be clear that this fee applies ONLY to students who are enrolling for the first time starting in Fall 2022. The CBF increase will not affect students who are already enrolled at Cal Poly (unless they complete their current degree program and enroll in a new degree program).

The thought, planning and details of the CBF have been in the works for several years. I want to thank everyone who participated in that planning, as well as those who participated in the robust process of consultation over the last five weeks. Our comprehensive outreach included 42 presentations to 65 campus groups and three campuswide open forums, ensuring our student body had an opportunity to learn, ask questions, understand and provide input about the initiative. More information about CBF and the processes followed can be found at the CBF website.

I also want to thank the Campus Fee Advisory Committee, which oversees the process by which the campus considers changes to fees, and our shared governance partners Associated Students Inc. (ASI) and the Academic Senate. All three groups submitted formal comments and suggestions regarding the adoption of the proposal and provided many thoughtful and helpful ideas that were either incorporated into CBF or continue to be considered as the operational details are finalized.

The consultation process has been a good reminder for everyone that Cal Poly can dream big dreams, can have robust discussion and debate about both ends and means for achieving those dreams, and can take bold action after due consideration.


Jeffrey D. Armstrong


A rise in fees is necessary to make Cal Poly affordable to more lower income students and helping the school become more diverse. The fees have’t been raised since 2002. Tuition for CP is $3-7k less than any UC yet their academics are comparable to the best UCs. This 6% raise in fees puts their feels in line with what the UCs charge and shouldn’t be a deterrent to incoming students because the overall tuition/fees paid is still an incredible value.


Some may not be happy about this. but as a low income potential transfer, this is great news! SLO is my number 1 and with them increasing the financial aid that students receive I can actually have a chance to attend here!!


I’m fine with it. We can afford the extra fee and I’m glad that’s what it’s for. That should also help with SLO’s diversity issue. It’s improving, but not quickly. That’s the one issue with DS choosing SLO over CPP. He actually commented on that yesterday.

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