The Last Word

Reflecting the Diversity of California

President Armstrong sees a brighter future for Cal Poly.

President Armstrong in a green shirt speaking from a podium

As spring quarter wraps up, we have a good opportunity to look back over the 2021-22 academic year and evaluate. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this has been a good year for Cal Poly. Among the campus community, vaccination rates are high, infection rates are low, and the campus has more or less returned to its typical rhythms and routines.

We’ve also made progress on some key priorities. This year, we adopted a program that will benefit the university in a number of important ways, particularly making Cal Poly more affordable for students from families with limited financial means and providing greater support for the university’s academic mission. By addressing these critical areas of need — making Cal Poly more affordable for a greater number of students, maintaining academic excellence and ensuring the university remains a bargain compared to its biggest competitors, like the University of California schools — we are able to ensure Cal Poly’s future remains healthy and vibrant.

I am also excited to announce that total applications for fall of 2022 set a new record at just over 68,000. We also had the largest number of female applicants in our history, and we are on target to have another increasingly diverse cohort entering this fall. Applications from members of underrepresented minority groups grew 2% from 2021. Our partner school program, through which we develop close relationships with schools where more than 50% of students qualify for free lunch, continues to produce great applicants — nearly 10,000 for fall 2022. We feel fortunate to have such robust interest in a Cal Poly education.

Although we have not yet finalized enrollments for fall, and the precise numbers will inevitably change over the summer, preliminary numbers are very encouraging. As of the May 1 commitment deadline, the students who accepted our offer of admission represent a class with the highest percentage of female students, highest percentage of underrepresented minority students and highest percentage of partner school students that we’ve seen in our campus history. We are on track to enroll our most diverse entering cohort ever!

I have often mentioned that the single most important job skill for college graduates of the future is cultural competency — the ability to live alongside, work with and learn from anyone and everyone. We continue to make progress toward that goal as we seek to ensure our campus more closely reflects the diversity of California and provides each and every one of our students with a comprehensive Learn by Doing experience.

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of Cal Poly and our mission. I wish happiness, good health and continued success for each of you. Go Mustangs!


Jeffrey D. Armstrong