Trying to secure quality education is a very expensive business. Worse, still, the cost of education in the country is expected to continue rising faster than the average inflation figures. This issue is especially evident in the current California State and UC system. Public higher education in California remains a class by itself " fed for years by population growth and a robust college-going rate among high school graduates. No other state system matches its size, accessibility and quality. Because of this the cost of admission continues to rise at an alarming rate. A good portion of this cost cannot be covered by students or their families, neglecting them the opportunity to pursue their education. California needs a long term strategy which aggressively restores access and affordability to the thousands of students who now can only dream about attending a State or UC college.
Good colleges work with sizeable budgets, covering primarily operating costs, such as high salaries and annual maintenance, and capital investment in new buildings, sporting facilities and the like. Yet, despite the high costs of education demand for places in good colleges remains high and places are always in short supply. Naturally, the budgets of parents are strained often to breaking point, and many students are forced to go into massive debt on the "study now, pay later- system. Those who plunge into debt or are forced to maul their life's savings are often tormented by concerns over the rate of return on their investment. According to Louis Freedberg's article Student Fees Likely to Increase things do not appear to be getting any better; "Students at the nine UC campuses will almost certainly pay higher fees next fall as a result of a deepening budget crisis that is expected to have a dramatic impact on the state's higher education system" (6). Freedberg admittedly believes that many graduates from elite colleges will end up securing well-paying jobs compensating in this way for the investment and pain student and parents had to endure.