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2022 Higher Education in California: An Introduction to the State’s Public Colleges & Universities

California’s public higher education system is arguably the best in the world and catapulted the state into world leadership such that today, the state is the 5th largest economy in the world. A bachelor’s degree in particular provides unrivaled economic and health benefits not just for the individual earning the degree, but for our entire state. Not surprisingly, there is growing demand for a college education and the state needs an increasingly more educated citizenry to maintain its economic standing. To better understand how our public colleges and universities contributes to the state’s success, this brief provides an introduction to higher education in California and the state budget investments and policies that shape college opportunity and success for millions of California college students.