a current student here
In comparison to UCs and Out of State Schools the Cal-State Tuition is Very well priced. I'm a commuter, so I don't pay for rent or dorms making my tuition especially low. I think I pay right around $2000 a quarter for Tuition, which comes out to about $6000 a year if you don't do Summer Session. Summer classes tend to be Very expensive because the government doesn't fund us well for Summer Classes.
Books are reasonable, if you rent. Rent from anyone, Amazon, Chegg you name it. It's always cheaper than the on campus Book Store.
Personally I'm not a believer in the big-name college. So just in general, I'd like to think I'm getting the same education that my friends that are going to UC's are, but at a cheaper price. Also CPP is California PolyTECHnic University at Pomona, which means we're all about hands-on education. For example, as a Hospitality Major one of my classes is working at the on campus restaurant or hotel for a quarter. I'm also required to have 800+ hours of Professional Work Experience in order to get my degree. Cal Poly also hosts job fairs, their own Career Center and an online job board to help you with your resume or set you up with different job opportunities. So if you look at it that way, I think we're just as good as any UC. It's also not about What school you go to it's about what you Do there... That's the big idea.