Cal Poly vs. UC Davis

Should I go to California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo or University of California Davis? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Cal Poly or UC Davis is the better college for you.

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California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo vs. University of California Davis comparison
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo University of California Davis College 3 College 4
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo University of California Davis
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Location San Luis Obispo, CA Davis, CA
Setting Small Suburban Small Suburban
Students 22,013 38,167
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit

Costs

Tuition (In State) $5,742 $11,442
Tuition (Out of State) $17,622 $40,434
Room & Board $13,770 $15,645
Avg Net Price $19,002 $16,446
Avg Grant Aid $5,891 $18,690
% Receiving Grant Aid 50% 63%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 30.2% 41.1%
Avg High School GPA 3.87 3.99
Admissions Standards Exceptional Exceptional
Applicant Competition High Low
ACT Range 26/32 24/32
SAT Range 1240/1430 1160/1400
Application Deadline Nov 30, 2019 Nov 30, 2019

Outcomes

Graduation Rate 75% 82%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $69,400 $65,200
Making Student Loan Payments 85% 82%
Median Student Loan Debt $18,666 $14,676
Median Loan Payment $193 $151
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Comparable Facts

  • University of California Davis is larger than than Cal Poly based on total student enrollment (38,167 students vs. 22,013 students)

Cal Poly vs. UC Davis Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Cal Poly or UC Davis?

  • University of California Davis is 99.3% more expensive to attend than Cal Poly for in-state tuition ($11,442.00 vs. $5,742.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 129.5% higher at UC Davis than California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo ($40,434.00 vs. $17,622.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of California Davis than Cal Poly ($16,446 vs. $19,002)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo are 13.6% lower than costs at University of California Davis ($13,770 vs. $15,645)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of California Davis than California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (63% vs. 50%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of California Davis students is 217.3% larger than aid received California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo ($18,690 vs. $5,891)

Cal Poly vs. UC Davis Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Cal Poly or UC Davis? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between UC Davis or Cal Poly .

  • The average SAT score at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (1259) is 33 points higher than at UC Davis (1226)
  • Incoming Cal Poly students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (29) than students at UC Davis (28)
  • UC Davis has a higher acceptance rate (41.1%) than Cal Poly (30.2%)

Cal Poly vs. UC Davis Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Cal Poly or UC Davis? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between UC Davis and Cal Poly.

  • The graduation rate at UC Davis is higher that California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (82% vs. 75%)
  • Graduates from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo earn on average $4,200 more per year than UC Davis graduates after ten years. ($69,400 vs. $65,200)
  • University of California Davis students graduate with a $3,990 lower median federal student loan debt than Cal Poly graduates. ($14,676 vs. $18,666)
  • UC Davis graduates are paying $42 less per month on federal student loans than Cal Poly graduates. ($151 vs. $193)
  • More Cal Poly graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former UC Davis students, three years after graduation. (85% vs. 82%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/