Cal Poly San Luis Obispo:
A safety school. This is where you have to resort to once you get rejected from all your top choices, i.e. Cal, UCLA, USC, UCSD, UCSB, UC Davis, and all your east-coast privates. It's common knowledge that this school just doesn't compare to Cal. Cal is ranked 21st by the US News report for top national universities of 2010. UCLA follows closely behind at 24th. Cal Poly isn't even on the list.
As far as engineering goes, Cal Poly doesn't even offer a doctorate program (Cal does). According to the 2010 US News report, Cal's undergraduate engineering program received a 4.7 out of 5 while Cal Poly's only received a 3.9.
It seems like some people here are bitter because they were rejected from Cal. It's odd, though, that they would have to stoop as low as Cal Poly. There are plenty of better schools in between UC Berkeley and SLO (UCLA, USC, UCSD, etc.) But then again Cal Poly students probably didn't get into those schools either.
The people here probably don't honestly think their school is as good as they claim, they just tell themselves that to justify attending a state school.
Note: there is a common misconception that this school is underrated, when in fact it deserves the rep it has. The fact that students claim their school is the "Harvard of the West" is a testament as to how stupid you can be and still get into this school.
UC Berkeley Admit: I can't believe I applied to Cal Poly, what a waste of money. All they ask for were my grades and test scores. No essay, no extracurricular information. Everyone who applied got in, even that kid from the special ed. dept.
Cal Poly Admit: Today I figured out my only option was SLO. Now I have to go on Urb Dic and call it Harvard to make myself feel better. FML.