San Luis Obispo remains one of the rare communities where superior K-12 public education is available for everyone. This past year, voters strongly supported local schools by passing three bond measures seeking a combined $510 million to upgrade campuses across San Luis Obispo County.

Public educational institutions and facilities in San Luis Obispo include several with distinctions as Blue Ribbon Schools and California Distinguished Schools.

School Districts:

Almond Acres Charter Academy
Atascadero Unified School
District Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School

Cayucos Elementary School District
Coast Unified School District

Grizzly ChalleNGe Charter School

Lucia Mar Unified School District

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District

Pleasant Valley Joint Union Elementary School District

San Luis Coastal Unified School District

San Miguel Joint Union School District

Shandon Joint Unified School District

Templeton Unified School District


The County’s level of educational attainment is higher than the County’s and the State’s. Almost half (46%) of the city’s population over the age of 25 has at least a bachelor’s degree, while one in five have a graduate or professional degree. Statewide, approximately 30 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

San Luis Obispo is also home to Cal Poly State University and Cuesta College.

Cal Poly consistently ranks among the top public universities in the nation with renowned engineering, architecture, business and agriculture colleges.

The university’s distinct “learn by doing” approach prepares students to be productive employees with a deep practical understanding of their areas of expertise. For local businesses, this translates into a young, smart and capable workforce ready to hit the ground running.

Cuesta College is highly regarded throughout the state for its excellent educational programs, responsive student services and exceptional faculty and staff.

Offering 70 degree programs and 57 certificate programs, Cuesta features lower division academic transfer courses, vocational/technical training, short courses, continuing education, distance education, day and evening classes. With more than 9,600 students, Cuesta provides critical technical training in the jobs of the future.

In addition, Allan Hancock College and Laurus College, offer associates degree and certificate programs at their Campuses and online and The University of San Luis Obispo School of Law offers legal education through a part-time weekend program.