Cal Poly vs. University of Nevada-Reno

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

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California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo vs. University of Nevada Reno comparison
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo University of Nevada Reno College 3 College 4
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo University of Nevada Reno
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Location San Luis Obispo, CA Reno, NV
Setting Small Suburban Midsize City
Students 22,013 21,463
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit

Costs

Tuition (In State) $5,742 $6,990
Tuition (Out of State) $17,622 $22,042
Room & Board $14,208 $11,960
Avg Net Price $21,232 $16,253
Avg Grant Aid $5,867 $6,443
% Receiving Grant Aid 51% 79%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 28.4% 88.2%
Avg High School GPA 3.87 3.37
Admissions Standards Exceptional Challenging
Applicant Competition High
ACT Range 26/32 21/26
SAT Range 1240/1440 1070/1290
Application Deadline Nov 30, 2019 May 31, 2020

Outcomes

Graduation Rate 75% 51%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $69,400 $53,400
Making Student Loan Payments 85% 64%
Median Student Loan Debt $18,666 $18,801
Median Loan Payment $193 $194
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Comparable Facts

  • California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo is larger than than University of Nevada-Reno based on total student enrollment (22,013 students vs. 21,463 students)

Cal Poly vs. University of Nevada-Reno Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Cal Poly or University of Nevada-Reno?

  • University of Nevada Reno is 21.7% more expensive to attend than Cal Poly for in-state tuition ($6,990.00 vs. $5,742.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 25.1% higher at University of Nevada-Reno than California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo ($22,042.00 vs. $17,622.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of Nevada Reno than Cal Poly ($16,253 vs. $21,232)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Nevada Reno are 18.8% lower than costs at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo ($11,960 vs. $14,208)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Nevada Reno than California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (79% vs. 51%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of Nevada Reno students is 9.8% larger than aid received California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo ($6,443 vs. $5,867)

Cal Poly vs. University of Nevada-Reno Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (1259) is 175 points higher than at University of Nevada-Reno (1084)
  • Incoming Cal Poly students have a 5 point higher average ACT score (29) than students at University of Nevada-Reno (24)
  • University of Nevada-Reno has a higher acceptance rate (88.2%) than Cal Poly (28.4%)

Cal Poly vs. University of Nevada-Reno Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Cal Poly or University of Nevada-Reno? 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 University of Nevada-Reno and Cal Poly.

  • The graduation rate at Cal Poly is higher that University of Nevada Reno (75% vs. 51%)
  • Graduates from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo earn on average $16,000 more per year than University of Nevada-Reno graduates after ten years. ($69,400 vs. $53,400)
  • California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo students graduate with a $135 lower median federal student loan debt than University of Nevada-Reno graduates. ($18,666 vs. $18,801)
  • Cal Poly graduates are paying $1 less per month on federal student loans than University of Nevada-Reno graduates. ($193 vs. $194)
  • More Cal Poly graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former University of Nevada-Reno students, three years after graduation. (85% vs. 64%)

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