Cuesta College is a two-year institution that is part of the greater San Luis Obispo County Community College District. San Luis Obispo is located along the Pacific coast of California, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The college provides students with many services and programs to enhance their education. Roughly 9,000 students attend the San Luis Obispo campus, earning associate degrees and certificates.
Academic tracks of study include both associate degrees and certificates to its students. There are several instructional programs for students to pick from, including vocational/technical training, distance education, continuing education, and lower division academic transfer courses. As a commuter’s college, the school offers classes both during the day and in the evening to accommodate busy schedules. There are over 60 Associate of Arts degrees and Associate of Science degrees offered. One hundred nineteen certificate programs are also offered.
Students are able to study a wide variety of subjects, including:
- Culinary Arts
- Interior Design
Many other traditional subjects are also available for students.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In addition to the normal college application requirements, students interested in attending can find a tremendous amount of support from the admissions staff. All students who would like to apply have to be placed in both English and math courses through qualified assessments. There are a variety of ways students can qualify for each of the two subject areas.
New students interested in taking an English course will be placed one of the following ways:
- Submit a high school transcript and take the English Placement Exam.
- Submit a high school transcript and earn a 3.7 GPA and an A in a high school senior level English course.
- Submit a high school transcript and complete an English placement exam at another public California college or university.
- Earn at least a C in an English course taken at another college or university.
- Score at least 24 on the ACT English exam.
- Score at least 680 on the SAT English Writing exam.
- Score at least 8 on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam.
- Gain a “Ready for CSU College-Level English Course” status on the Early Assessment Program.
- Score at least 3 on the AP English Literature or Composition Exam.
New students interested in taking a math course will be placed one of the following ways:
- Submit a high school transcript and take the Math Placement Exam.
- Submit a high school transcript and complete a math placement exam at another public California college or university.
- Earn at least a C in a math course taken at another college or university.
- Score at least 23 on the ACT math exam.
- Score at least 550 on the SAT math exam.
- Gain a “Ready for CSU College-Level Math Course” status on the Early Assessment Program.
- Score at least 3 on the AP Calculus or AP Statistics Exam.
Students are able to get financial assistance through many different channels. The multiple opportunities for students to apply for monetary aid allows students to get an education without finances as a barrier.
One way for students to gain assistance is to apply for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver. This is available to all California residents intending to enroll in a community college in the state. The funds are used to cover registration fees but does not waive optional fees for students. In addition, students are not held accountable for future fee increases. The Board of Governors Fee Waiver is available for the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Grants are also available. These are competitive federal grants that students can apply for through filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are also state grants available for California residents only. These are the Cal Grants, based on both academic performance and financial need. Special grants are also available for foster youth who would like to attend.
Students who are in financial need may also opt to work in the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program. Wages begin at $8.00/hour and students can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. They must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA in order to remain employed. Work study students also need to be enrolled in at least 6 units in order to be eligible.
The Cuesta College Foundation provides students with scholarships to offset their tuition. Several scholarships are awarded, including those from the Governor’s Scholarship Program, Osher Scholarship, and the Child Development Grant Program.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students are able to participate in a myriad of activities throughout the school year. Many on-campus events are in collaboration with the different departments, programs, and organizations. The ASCC Social Club is also available for students. Current students are able to benefit from the club’s facilities and amenities, which include a big screen TV, a foosball table, X-Box 360 and Kinect, a pool table, and a smorgasbord of comfortable couches to lounge around on during the day and into the night.
Students can also practice their broadcasting skills at KGUR, the student-run cable channel. Students host musical programs as well as produce and present their independent pieces through the station. Students are able to practice their communication, production, and technical skills at KGUR.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The alumni association was established, in 1973 as a nonprofit corporation for the sole purpose of promoting the welfare of Cuesta College. The foundation supports the college in attaining scientific, cultural, and educational goals. Individual organizations and businesses in the San Luis Obispo area support the college through donations.
College personnel support former students in maintaining relationships by organizing activities for alum. Typically, alumni will gather together to work on a legacy project, the latest being Cougar Park, which provides a scenic setting on campus for students and visitors to enjoy.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.