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San Luis Obispo, California (CA) Colleges and Universities

While there are only four schools in San Luis Obispo, there are eight schools located within a 30-mile radius. Find out about some of the schools in several categories, including highest graduation rate and lowest costs, to find the school for you.

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Would-be college students residing in and around San Luis Obispo only have a handful of options to choose from, including a cosmetology school, a specialized business school, a career center and a 4-year university. Use National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data to make the selection process easier, reviewing categories such as location, net price, size, and graduation rate.

Schools Closest to San Luis Obispo, California

While there are 3 schools within a 3-mile radius of San Luis Obispo, prospective students will have to drive over 25 miles to reach the next closest school. The schools in the area are a mix of 2 and 4-year institutions, both public and privately-owned. Below are the 5 schools closest to San Luis Opispo.

  • Laurus College (downtown San Luis Obispo)
  • Cuesta College (1.5 miles away)
  • California Polytechnic State University (2.6 miles away)
  • Allan Hancock College (26.5 miles away)
  • Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria (26.5 miles away)

Largest Schools Near San Luis Obispo, California

While there aren't many schools around, the San Luis Obispo area surprisingly offers a wide array of schools from a size perspective. The state university in the region has nearly 21,000 total students, while another public institution has nearly 11,000. There are a few smaller schools as well. Here are the 5 largest schools near San Luis Obispo.

  • California Polytechnic State University (20,944 total students)
  • Allan Hancock College (10,949 total students)
  • Cuesta College (9,600 total students)
  • Laurus College (941 total students)
  • Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria (166 total students)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

The NCES determines a school's net price by deducting the average amount of financial aid received by a full-time undergraduate student from the total cost of attendance. Schools in the San Luis Obispo area had net prices starting at around $5,800 and going up to almost $18,500, according to the NCES. Below are the five mainstream schools with the lowest net prices for 2014-15, according to the NCES.

  • Allan Hancock College ($5,805)
  • Cuesta College ($10,540)
  • Laurus College ($15,602)
  • Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria ($15,944)
  • California Polytechnic State University ($18,238)

Highest Graduation Rate

A college's overall graduation rate is the percentage of full-time students who complete their programs within 150% of the normal time (which would be six years for a bachelor's degree or three years for an associate's degree). The five schools with the highest graduation rates are presented by 2015 figures from the NCES.

  • Laurus College (88% graduation rate)
  • California Polytechnic State University (76% graduation rate)
  • Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria (66% graduation rate)
  • Cuesta College (32% graduation rate)
  • Allan Hancock College (28% graduation rate)

With minimal options to choose from in the San Luis Obispo area, students must place considerable weight on factors such as, graduation rate, net price, size, and location, in order to make the best choice.

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