Give a dollar to California’s public colleges and universities and receive $4.50 back. Those are pretty good odds, and they’re not from one of those overseas scam emails humbly requesting your help in transferring funds. This more-than-400-percent yield is the net return on the state’s investment in higher education, according to California’s Economic Payoff, one of two reports released yesterday that make the case for a stronger state investment in higher education.
Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in the University of California and California State University and the state stands to make about $10 billion from today’s college graduates when they turn 50 years old. That’s after the students have paid back the $4.5 billion the state spent to help them earn their degrees, according to the study published by the Campaign for College Opportunity.