Cal Poly vs. UCI

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

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California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo vs. University of California Irvine comparison
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo University of California Irvine College 3 College 4
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo University of California Irvine
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Location San Luis Obispo, CA Irvine, CA
Setting Small Suburban Rural Fringe
Students 22,013 36,032
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 $15,263
Avg Net Price $19,002 $13,944
Avg Grant Aid $5,891 $18,824
% Receiving Grant Aid 50% 60%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 30.2% 28.8%
Avg High School GPA 3.87 3.92
Admissions Standards Exceptional Exceptional
Applicant Competition High High
ACT Range 26/32 25/33
SAT Range 1240/1430 1190/1410
Application Deadline Nov 30, 2019 Nov 30, 2019

Outcomes

Graduation Rate 75% 85%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $69,400 $61,800
Making Student Loan Payments 85% 76%
Median Student Loan Debt $18,666 $17,000
Median Loan Payment $193 $175
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Comparable Facts

  • University of California Irvine is larger than than Cal Poly based on total student enrollment (36,032 students vs. 22,013 students)

Cal Poly vs. UCI Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Cal Poly or UCI?

  • University of California Irvine 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 UCI 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 Irvine than Cal Poly ($13,944 vs. $19,002)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo are 10.8% lower than costs at University of California Irvine ($13,770 vs. $15,263)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of California Irvine than California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (60% vs. 50%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of California Irvine students is 219.5% larger than aid received California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo ($18,824 vs. $5,891)

Cal Poly vs. UCI Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (1259) is 84 points higher than at UCI (1175)
  • Incoming Cal Poly students have a 2 point higher average ACT score (29) than students at UCI (27)
  • Cal Poly has a higher acceptance rate (30.2%) than UCI (28.8%)

Cal Poly vs. UCI Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Cal Poly or UCI? 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 UCI and Cal Poly.

  • The graduation rate at UCI is higher that California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (85% vs. 75%)
  • Graduates from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo earn on average $7,600 more per year than UCI graduates after ten years. ($69,400 vs. $61,800)
  • University of California Irvine students graduate with a $1,666 lower median federal student loan debt than Cal Poly graduates. ($17,000 vs. $18,666)
  • UCI graduates are paying $18 less per month on federal student loans than Cal Poly graduates. ($175 vs. $193)
  • More Cal Poly graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former UCI students, three years after graduation. (85% vs. 76%)

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