Berkeley researchers find big benefits for students, taxpayers and state from funding of higher education

April 24, 2012
By: Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations


A flier titled: 'California's economic payoff'.

In a study released today (Tuesday, April 24), three UC Berkeley researchers conclude that graduates of the University of California and California State University systems provide ongoing returns to the state that average $12 billion a year. That’s well above California’s current general fund expenditures for the UC, CSU and community-college systems combined, they note.

The authors of “California’s Economic Payoff: Investing in College Access and Completion,” include Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy; Michael Hout, a professor of sociology; and Jon Stiles, executive director of the California Census Research Data Center. The report was conducted for The Campaign for College Opportunity.

“Past investments in public higher education are buffering the effects of today’s economic downturn and future investments will do the same,” Stiles said.

To read the full report, its key findings or a detailed press release about the study, click here.

Their findings echo a report the same researchers released in November 2005, “Return on Investment: Educational Choices and Demographic Change in California’s Future.“  Then, as now, the researchers argued that educational investments can help restore California’s greatness and preserve its high quality of life.

The latest report comes at a period of economic downturn, state budget restrictions, and rising student tuition.