San Luis Obispo, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,071 ($8,043)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Student

Computers: There aren't many computer labs on campus because most people have their own computers. They are helpful in the library, and in my department. The wireless here is awful and in most dorm rooms, you have to use a ethernet cord. Printing on campus is easy at the library, but it's not always convenient.

3 College Freshman

Computers: Connecting to the network is hard at times but tends to be stable when you're on. Computers labs aren't open 24 hours and printing can only be done in the library. Bring a personal computer and printer with you

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Computers: I just simply wish there were more computer labs open to all majors. Also, it'd be great to not have outages of our online Portal so often.

2 College Freshman

Computers: I don't think I've ever seen a computer lab here... The wifi is unreliable, but at least we have it!

3 College Junior

Computers: Computer labs can get very busy during midterms and finals but it is not impossible to find one computer if you look hard enough.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 375th
    Fastest Internet
  • 688th
    Best Network Reliability
  • 721st
    Best Computer Availability
  • 886th
    Best Wireless Availability

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Amy Herman
Burbank CA
Liberal Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Computers are absolutely an integral part of being a student at Cal Poly. From Facebook to e-books, each student uses his or her computing time differently. Many teachers utilize the school's portal (PolyLearn/Moodle) to allow students to submit work online. Other teachers will just have students email them your work. This works out great, and for that reason, it's not 100 percent necessary to have a printer. There are printers all over campus, and you can pay for the pages you print with your campus ID (PolyCard). There are also two places where people will print for you: Poly Prints (in the library) and University Graphic Systems (UGS). Poly Prints is the place to go if you need a quick project printed, whereas UGS is more for design-related work, brochures, etc. 

Many majors sponsor computer labs. A couple offer some degree of free printing: Civil engineering, for example, requires you to bring your own paper for printing. There are both Mac and PC labs on campus. Certain majors do express a preference for either Mac or PC—though, if you prefer the other, it's definitely easy to get by on the free labs. There are limited computer resources open 24 hours, so if you plan to use a lab, be sure to plan ahead! Most people do have their own computers, but many choose not to bring them to school each day. Some teachers do not allow computers in class, so be sure to communicate with them if you have special needs. iPads are becoming more popular on campus. If, for whatever reason, you need to borrow technology, Media Distribution Services can loan you a projector, camera, or computer (among other devices) for one-week periods.

Facts & Statistics

Wireless Access
24-Hour Labs?
There are three spaces in the library that are open 24 hours.
Charged to Print?
10 cents per page
Special Software & Hardware Discounts
Did You Know?
  • Cal Poly has a system which allows students to borrow laptops and other technology through Media Distribution Services (
  • Robert E. Kennedy Library has a virtual queue for computers. Sign up, and when a computer frees up, you'll see your name on a TV screen.

Student Polls

Rate computers on the following subjects    Based on 143 responses

Very weak
  • Availability of computer labs
  • Campus tech support
  • Free/discounted software
  • Number of computer labs
  • Printing cost/quota limits
  • Reliability of network
  • Speed of network
  • Technology in classrooms and labs
  • Wireless availability

How necessary is it to bring your own computer?    Based on 167 responses

  • 0% The school supplies each student with their own laptop.
  • 79% Extremely important, especially when the labs are crowded during semester crunch times.
  • 16% Not necessary for school work but relatively important for socializing and entertainment.
  • 5% Don't waste your money; there are plenty of computers to use on campus.
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