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

Diversity: This campus is not diverse in any aspect. Most people are middle class or upper-middle class and white. There is *some* diversity, granted, but minorities definitely feel like minorities on campus (not due to marginalization or discrimination, but due to the overwhelming lack of diversity). I think everyone is pretty respectful of others' race, religion, political beliefs, and sexual orientation, but there is just not a strong variation currently available.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: There is a lot of diversity on campus and I have never seen any kind of discrimination of any sort.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is a lot of diversity throughout the campus, but most of the diversity happens in places you don't usually look. You have to look deeper to find it.

2 College Sophomore

Diversity: It's strange. While there is no outward dislike for minorities except for the "few rare cases of intolerance" one just has to accept that by coming to Cal Poly, you're coming to a predominantly white school and that = a different culture than that of L.A. (where I'm from). In essence, I never appreciated the value of a diverse community until I no longer had it.

2 College Freshman

Diversity: our campus lacks visual diversity, most people are white, but different interests help diversify the campus.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 232nd
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1163rd
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1354th
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Diversity is more than just the color of your skin, and that is evidenced by the wide array of students who attend Cal Poly. That being said, the majority of students here at Cal Poly is Caucasian. The administration as a whole has made an effort to make students of all ethnicities feel welcome at the University. Having friends with many different backgrounds is not uncommon. One thing that Cal Poly students realize is that even in an ethnically homogeneous group of people, there can still be much diversity. It isn't hard to find people of different cultures in class. 

Another thing to be aware of is that there are many multicultural clubs and organizations. Some of these organizations are culture-specific (Chinese Students' Association, for example), but by no means culture-exclusive. These organizations welcome students unconditionally and even the seemingly homoegeneous clubs have more diversity than most people would anticipate. Conflicts regarding diversity usually surround issues of sexuality rather than race or gender. Fortunately, Cal Poly has the Pride Center on campus that supports students of any sexuality.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Colorado
  • Foreign countries
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 38%
20-21: 37%
22-24: 20%
25+: 4%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 1%
Asian American: 9%
Hispanic: 5%
International: 0%
Native American: 0%
White: 81%
Unknown: 4%
Gay Pride
Cal Poly leaves a little to be desired in this area. However, it seems to be getting better. LGBT groups definitely have the protection and support of the administration.
Political Activity
Cal Poly is active on both ends of the political spectrum. At one end, we have peace protests, and on the other, pro-war rallies supporting the troops in Iraq. The school newspaper, Mustang Daily, has reported that student voting numbers in on-campus elections (for student body president) have continued to go down in recent years. But, if you're looking for heated debates, they're not hard to be found. On the other hand, nobody bugs you if you just don't care.
Economic Status
Economically, Cal Poly is quite diverse. Many students work their way through college, taking out enormous loans, while others seem to have an inexhaustible supply of parental finances.
Most Common Religions
Christianity is the major religious force in the community. There are three or four on-campus ministries and plenty of churches to choose from. It's not uncommon to walk by a group of people and overhear their Bible study. With that being said, there are other vibrant religious communities (including many, many students with no religious affiliation whatsoever).
Minority Clubs on Campus
There are clubs on campus that have a racial and cultural connection, including Greek societies.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 129 responses

  • 3% Libertarian
  • 17% Not sure
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 12% Conservative
  • 31% Moderate
  • 30% Liberal
  • 5% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 128 responses

  • 1% Libertarian
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 21% Conservative
  • 33% Moderate
  • 26% Not sure
  • 17% Liberal
  • 1% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 129 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 128 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 129 responses

  • 7% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 5% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 51% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 36% Very accepting.
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