Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 79.35

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA
One of three polytechnic universities in California, Cal Poly Pomona has strong programs in engineering and business, as well as renowned programs in hospitality management, agriculture, and apparel merchandising and management. It was first designated a National Center of Academic Excellence by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency in 2005, and continues to carry that honor. The university's graduation rate of 75% is nearly 16% higher than expected based on schools with comparable student demographics, according to a Money's analysis of graduation rates. Students go on to post average early career salaries of $63,000, which also is higher than expected. Cal Poly Pomona's learn-by-doing approach provides a wealth of internships and research positions, but it also yields some unexpected opportunities. An on-campus brewery teaches students craft beer-making using barley and oranges grown on campus. And every year for the past seven decades, students have joined their peers from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to build a float for the Tournament of Roses parade. In fact, Cal Poly Pomona recently opened a 14,000-square-foot float lab and design complex.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.7 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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