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Colleges / California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA 4-Year Public

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Tuition Information

In 2021, tuition for full-time students at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo was $10,194 a year for in-state students and $11,880 a year for out-of-state students. On average, college tuition rises about 3 percent a year.

If these numbers seem daunting, remember, the "sticker price" of tuition doesn't give you enough information to determine the actual cost. Many students pay far less than the total tuition after grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts kick in. Plus, student loans can make the amount you do have to pay for college more manageable.

Does Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Offer In-State and Out-of-State Tuition?

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is a public, state institution, so it offers a reduced tuition rate of $10,194 for in-state students who attend full-time.

Public schools receive funds from the state to help them cover costs. These institutions offer reduced tuition for students who are residents of that state.

Attending a school where you qualify for in-state tuition can save significant money on the overall cost of college. Every state has their own rules about what makes someone eligible for in-state tuition. The most common requirement is that students must have lived in the state for a full year before starting school.

Explore other California colleges

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo International Student Tuition

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has the same tuition for international students as for those from out of state.

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but may be eligible for school-specific aid and scholarships.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Living Expenses and Other Costs

In addition to tuition, there are other costs associated with college, like room and board, facility fees, and books and supplies.

Room and Board at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Room and board at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is $15,745 a year. This includes the cost of living in dorms or other campus housing, plus a meal plan that allows you to eat in the school dining facilities.

Board costs may vary depending on how many meals are included in the meal plan you choose.

Cost of Books at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

The cost of books often surprises first-year college students. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, you can expect to pay about $1,914 a year for books and supplies. This does not count the initial cost of a computer or other technology. The actual cost of books depends on the courses you take and the materials required.

Yearly Fees

Most schools also have fees to help cover the cost of facilties, like the library, gym and computer labs. Full-time undergrads at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo pay $6,030 in fees each academic year.

There may also be optional fees associated with participating in certain activities, like joining a fraternity or sorority, or playing on an intramural sports team, may mean additional fees.

Transportation costs

The total cost of transportation in college can really vary. It depends on if you drive or fly to get to school, own a car, or if you prefer to walk or take public transportation to get around campus.

A school's location can impact transportation costs. The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo campus is in a suburban setting in California. First-year students are allowed to park a car on campus.

For Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students, $711 is good ballpark for transportation costs for on-campus students. $6,304 is a good estimate for transportation costs for students who live off campus.

Other College Costs

When creating a budget for college, don’t forget to leave some room in your budget for personal expenses, like entertainment, clothes, furnishings and toiletries.

Let’s look at the breakdown of all expenses, which can add up for both on-campus and off-campus students.

How much does Cal Poly San Luis Obispo cost?

2021 Total Tuition and Expenses
In-state Tuition $10,194
Out-of-State Tuition $11,880
Room and Board $15,745
Board Only $6,304
Books and Supplies $1,914
Yearly Fees $6,030
Transportation $711
Other expenses $1,479
Total Estimated Costs

Tuition and fees may vary depending on program, course level, location, and more.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s tuition and fees change based on: Academic program for both full and part-time students Course load for both full and part-time students

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Financial Aid

The majority of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo undergrads use financial aid to finance their education. In 2021, 9,136 of the 21,447 undergrads enrolled received financial aid. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo meets 49 percent of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates.

The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $10,344 a year. Around 39 percent of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo undergrads take out student loans to cover any remaining costs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduates who have student loans graduate with an average of $22,933 of student loan debt.

The average debt for each loan type varies.

Average Debt By Loan Type
Federal Loans $20,977
State Loans $0
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-Specific Loans $11,542
Private Loans $27,550
Most Common Loans for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Students
Federal Loans 38%
Private loans 0.03%

Most students take out institutional or government loans, because they tend to have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. Loans from the federal government can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during school, while unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest at the time the loan is issued. If students do no qualify for enough federal loans to cover the cost of tuition, some take out private loans. Parents can also take out ParentPLUS loans, which are government loans for parents who are helping their children pay for college.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps colleges determine how much financial need students and their familes have, so they can offer a financial aid package that meets, or come close to meeting, their need. For more information on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo financial aid, keep reading, or visit their financial aid website.

Scholarships at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Some students may receive grants and scholarships to help pay for college. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not have to be paid back.

In 2021, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo awarded 8,667 need-based scholarships to students, giving away total of $73,013,520 to help students with financial need cover the cost of school. An additional $6,720,430 in merit-based scholarship money was awarded to students without demonstrated financial need.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Net Cost

The net price of college is the actual cost of attending a school for one year. Net cost is calculated by subtracting any scholarships, grants or other aid that does not need to be paid back from the total cost. Student loans are not part of the calculation, because they need to be repaid.

Now that we have a sense of the total estimated costs for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students, we can subtract the average financial aid package to find the estimated net cost. Net cost can vary depending on a students’ need and the financial aid award received.

When considering whether a school fits your budget, it is important to consider the estimated net cost, not just the sticker price of tuition. Often, schools with the highest tuition also offer the most generous aid packages, so estimate your net cost before eliminating a school because it does fit your budget.

The average amount of financial aid received by a full-time first year student with demonstrated need at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was $10,344 in 2021. By substracting the average financial aid package from the estimated costs, we get a number that may make the cost of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo seem more manageable.

Estimated Net Cost for Full-Time Students
In-State, On-Campus $14,674
Net In-state, Off-campus $15,577
Out-of-State, On-Campus $26,704

What will attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo really cost you? The answer depends on several factors.

As of 2011, colleges are required to have a net price calculator on their website to help prospective students and their families make more informed decisions about the actual cost of attending that school, based on their financial situation. You can find the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's net cost calculator on their website.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Tuition Payment Plans

Some students choose to use payment plans to make the cost of tuition fit more comfortably in their budget.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo does not have guaranteed tuition.

The school offers a Prepaid Tuition Plan, which is a type of college savings plan that enables people to purchase future credits for their children at today's rate. It is best for people who are sure they or their child will attend a public school in their state.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo offers an Installment Payment Plan, which allows students to pay tuition in a series of smaller chunks instead of one lump sum.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Tuition Waivers

Schools sometimes offer tuition waivers to certain groups to cover some or all of the cost of tuition. Some schools offer them for employees and their family, underrepresented students, or military students. Even with a tuition waiver, other expenses and fees are the responsibility of the student

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has some full or partial tuition waivers available for: Employees or Children of Employees

Check the financial aid website for more information on payment plans and tuition waivers.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees

$33,883

In State

$35,569

Out-of-State
Cost Breakdown
In State
Out-of-State
State Tuition
$10,194
$11,880
Fees
$6,030
$6,030
Housing
$15,745
$15,745
Books
$1,914
$1,914

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Financial Aid

Students Who Receive Need-Based Aid

44%

Average Financial Aid Package

$10,422

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment

22,287

Campus Setting

Suburban

Acceptance Rate

38%

Tuition and Fees

In State

$16,224

Out-of-State

$17,910

Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Nov 30
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