Sorry, Cal Poly is way over-rated

<p>Message to all who applied to Cal Poly: if you get in, great, but a word of warning - it is ONLY a state school, in a hick town, with no culture or exposure to the “bigger” world…huge sized classes, they make you stick to your declared major, and if you try to transfer out, it will cost you at least another year or two…no financial aid, tuition rising - if you don’t get in here, seriously consider a private school - much more $$ to hand out and a better education. State schools don’t care who you are. You’re just a number.</p>

<p>Are you a student there now? Or is this just your second hand personal opinion?</p>

<p>If you vsmart previous posts, you will see that vsmart was rejected from Cal Poly and is now at a private school. My son is an EE major and loves it there. His classes are not very large at all. From what he tells me, most of his professors are very approachable. My son has not tried to change majors, but some of his classmates have with a little bit of effort. It is not a perfect place, but my son is getting a great education at a fraction of the cost of a private.</p>

<p>I am a Cal EECS student. I got into Cal Poly for EE, but chose Cal instead. But I would disagree with a lot of what the OP said. The one thing that the OP did say which I think is accurate, is that they fail their students with financial aid. Coming to Berkeley is actually cheaper for me than going to Cal Poly would have been, because they really busted their asses to advocate for me and offer me as much financial aid as they possibly could. That is pretty much the only reason I chose to decline Cal Poly's offer. I have friends who go there, and they love it. It's a really good school with a great atmosphere. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering going there (though I would recommend Cal even more strongly :) ).</p>

<p>Really? I'm a transfer student (environmental engineering) and I'm loving the atmosphere here. My first semester here I don't have any "learn by doing" classes, but I feel like I am getting a quality education . Plus the teachers I have are all friendly and actually care about making sure you understand the material.</p>

<p>someone sounds bitter about being rejected lol</p>

<p>Haters are going to hate!</p>

<p>Plus, what the F? What does Vsmart have against state schools? </p>

<p>Or are you the kids of 1% and you have a thing against the 99% of us who can only afford public U, UCs and CSUs?</p>

<p>I am not a student at Cal Poly SLO or an alumni. However, everyone, including my son, who has gone there loves the college and the town. I was impressed with both the number of times I visited SLO.</p>

<p>I am a current freshman at Poly, and it is an absolutely AMAZING school. I live about 25 minutes away from SLO and commute in, and that is part of the reason that I am transferring for my second year. Also, CP is largely an engineering and business school, and my major is political science. For that reason, I am hoping to go to school in NY next year. But Poly really is a top school. While it is a state school, it is the best state school in CA by far, and better than a lot of the UCs. A few years ago they were being considered to be a turned into a UC, but the residents of SLO voted against it due to the number of students that would have to be admitted in order to meet the UC qualifications. One of their slogans, second to Learn by Doing, is "UC education at a CSU price". Also, SLO is not a farm town. Oprah rated it as the happiest city in the nation! Poly also has one of the highest job placement ratings in the nation, especially for engineers. It is a VERY selective school, and tough to get into. Take it from someone who attends. Oh, and also, you are not just a number at this school. My Poli Sci professor knew every student's name by the second week of classes, and my Econ teacher knows many people's names in our class of over 220 students. Just saying.</p>

<p>"Message to all who applied to Cal Poly: if you get in, great, but a word of warning - it is ONLY a state school, in a hick town, with no culture or exposure to the "bigger" world...huge sized classes, they make you stick to your declared major, and if you try to transfer out, it will cost you at least another year or two..no financial aid, tuition rising - if you don't get in here, seriously consider a private school - much more $$ to hand out and a better education. State schools don't care who you are. You're just a number."</p>

<p>Let's look at that statement for a second. It's got tons of culture and endorses live music, festivals every Thursday, and is currently seeing a ton of political activism. I don't have a class larger than 38 students contrary to your statement. I know plenty of people who have changed major. It's already VERY cheap compared to private schools. The town is gorgeous and the people are friendly, where did you get hick from? I have never had more fun, sounds like your just a little mad but I'm sure you will get over it.</p>

<p>Yes, Cal Poly is overrated. However, even I, someone who deeply regrets coming here, think that has more to do with the rating than the school. After all, there are people out there who compare us to folks like MIT and Cal Tech. No, Cal Poly isn't one of the world's best universities. But, if you are willing to accept it's limitations, it's a pretty good school in the context of the western United States.</p>

<p>The difficulty in changing major is very real. In the college of engineering, you simply cannot change major if you would have more than 24 excess units when you graduate. That's two years of your engineering coursework, folks! This is a major limitation. </p>

<p>I would like to add that the classes are often over-scheduled. While Cal Poly doesn't have many 100+ person lectures, the advertised small-class size is achieved by having artificially small classes on paper and allowing students to crash and add the class in real life. And, of course, there's almost always more people trying to add the class than the fire marshal will permit. Bits and pieces of the campus infrastructure are starting to change to allow bigger lectures. However, I doubt that most classes will ever have more than 40 people in them. Also, given the lack of a graduate program, your teacher is likely to be a dedicated professor or lecturer. </p>

<p>Speaking of classes, don't expect to get out in 4 years, no matter how studious you are. Even if I had perfect grades and attempted to push 19 units a quarter, I couldn't have done it in 4. The spots in the necessary classes simply where not available in a timely manner. For several key classes, availability sucks. And, with the additional budget cuts, I fully expect this to get worse. </p>

<p>Cal Poly is getting to be more expensive. The new rec-center and other unnecessary luxuries are not helping things either. Even if the tuition is cheaper than say, UC Davis, you are going to be paying significantly more in living expenses. Leaving aside any talk of "financial aid" (what's that?), Cal Poly is an okay deal, but I feel that there are other state universities in the western United States that provide better value. Private school? Aside from Harvey Mudd, do those exist for engineering? And, [$42,140[/url</a>] pays for 3 years, with room and board at Cal Poly. </p>

<p>The rural atmosphere isn't for everyone. I for one love it. I love exploring the campus' vast tracts of agricultural land. And, there's plenty of culture if you are willing to go out and look for it. I've maxed out credits for two preforming ensembles in my time here. I enjoy the occasional night out at the [url=<a href="http://www.slosymphony.com/cm/Home.html%5DSLO"&gt;http://www.slosymphony.com/cm/Home.html]SLO&lt;/a> Symphony<a href="or%20an%20afternoon%20at%20one%20of%20their%20free%20dress%20rehearsals">/url</a>, or a night of preforming with the [url=<a href="http://symphony.calpoly.edu%5DCal"&gt;http://symphony.calpoly.edu]Cal&lt;/a> Poly Symphony](<a href="http://www.hmc.edu/admission1/costsandaid.html%5D$42,140%5B/url"&gt;http://www.hmc.edu/admission1/costsandaid.html). I think both of those count as culture.</p>

<p>If you are willing to live with those disadvantages, Cal Poly is a good school. Even in larger classes you will have direct interaction with your professors. If you are a Computer Science major, you can rejoice in the fact that we are NOT a Java</a> School, and that we are really doing something (CPE 123) about the "throw-them-to-the-wolves" attitude that you often see in first-year computing programs. Cal Poly has some serious flaws, but you can still get a great education here.</p>

<p>I think that was a pretty balanced critique of Cal Poly. I also go to Cal Poly now as an engineering major. I am not sure where the previous post heard it from, but Cal Poly is NOT comparable to Cal Tech or MIT, nor should it. There are VERY FEW schools on this planet that can compare to those two, even Harvard/Yale/Stanford might not be at that same lofty level as MIT and Cal Tech. </p>

<p>And why should CP be compare to those 2, it does not have a multi-billion dollar budget or endowment, it does not grant Phds, and it is not a research laboratory for the government or big corporation. </p>

<p>With all that said, I love Cal Poly for exactly what it is. A medium size undergraduate focused technical university with rigorous academics and located at a great town with pristine nature as a backdrop. </p>

<p>Prior to coming, I always knew that it takes 4+ years to graduate. It was well advertised by the university and I spoke with CP engineering students about the graduation rate, and the change of major policy. I knew coming in that Cal Poly encouraged its student to take up internships and Co-ops in the industry and that easily sets one's graduation back by 6 to 9 months. But I specifically wanted that professional experience to set myself apart from other universities' graduates during my career search. In addition, I also knew that CPSLO required a lot of laboratory classes along with lectures and those lab classes really take up time. For me, that is a plus not a minus, because the labs are where "learn by doing" is being realized.</p>

<p>With respect to culture, I think CP has a lot of it. The really grand performance art center on campus has a great deal of performances coming through year round. So I take advantage of that whenever I can. Also, the town itself is relatively fashionable, it has great Japanese food, decent Thai, and lots of Italian. We even have our own Apple store! And Apple stores are never located in a dump of a town. </p>

<p>But like any other universities in the US, including Cal tech and MIT and Harvard, Cal Poly has its various flaws, some major and some minor. It is far from perfect, just as the previous post stated. The budget is being slashed left and right, and the school population is being reduced quite drastically to something like 16000. This might or might not translate into larger classes given I have no idea if the faculty will be reduced as well.</p>

<p>But again, Cal Poly is a bargain compare to the privates and some of the public universities out there. Our campus is huge, facilities are outstanding, great dorms, great engineering complex, vast open space, and rolling hills. I especially look forward to seeing the completion of the new Science center, and our new rec-center. I looked into many other universities prior to coming here, and very few schools can match Cal Poly for its quality and value. </p>

<p>And if you get into Harvey Mudd, you probably also got into top engineering schools such as Cooper Union, Univ. of Michigan, Cornell, Cal, UCLA, U of I Urbana, Northwestern, all the mid-tier UCs engineering, and just may be even Stanford. So with that said, comparing Cal Poly to Mudd is probably not a fair comparison, but I think it is an honor for Cal Poly to be even compared to Mudd.</p>

<p>I, for one, love being at Cal Poly, and there is not even a nano second of regret.</p>

<p>My cousin is going there right now and loves the hell out of the college and the town. Awesome CSU+beach=amazing</p>