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Improving Lives through Public Policy

By Tani Cantil-Sakauye

President and CEO Tani Cantil-Sakauye reflects on the role that PPIC’s independent, nonpartisan research plays in helping to improve Californians’ physical, educational, and economic well-being.


Is College Worth It?

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Cesar Alesi Perez, Vicki Hsieh, Hans Johnson

Rising college costs and a reluctance to take on debt lead many students and families to wonder if college will actually yield a brighter future with higher earnings and better jobs. In this explainer, we explore whether the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: COVID-19 Emergency Funding and California’s Higher Education Systems

By Jacob Jackson, Kevin Cook, Darriya Starr, Chansonette Buck

Just before the pandemic hit, state funding for higher education was high and increasing, student outcomes were improving, and programs for students in need were robust. COVID-19 sent shocking changes through these educational institutions’ means and methods of operating.


COVID-19 Emergency Funding and California’s Higher Education Systems

By Jacob Jackson, Kevin Cook, Darriya Starr

Federal dollars offered timely, substantial support to the state’s higher education systems during the worst of the pandemic. Funding for students, online instruction, and social distancing measures made up key spending allocations.


Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

PPIC’s latest survey examines Californians’ views on their finances, inflation, and income inequality. It also looks at job satisfaction and opinions on policies related to housing affordability, college costs, and job training. PPIC associate survey director Dean Bonner will present key findings and discuss takeaways with survey analyst Rachel Lawler.


The Effects of COVID-19 on Transfer-Intending Students in California’s Community Colleges

The pandemic widened gaps in access for community college students—and the full effects are just beginning to emerge. PPIC researcher Cesar Alesi Perez will present findings on the impact of COVID-19 on transfer-intending students. Then an expert panel will consider these outcomes in light of pre-pandemic reforms and discuss actions the state can take to strengthen enrollment and narrow equity gaps.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: The Effects of COVID-19 on Transfer-Intending Students in California’s Community Colleges

By Cesar Alesi Perez, Jacob Jackson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Olga Rodriguez ...

After COVID-19 hit in spring 2020, enrollment fell among transfer-intending students at community colleges. Fewer students persisted through subsequent terms and fewer completed courses; however, more students reached critical transfer milestones than among pre-pandemic cohorts—a likely upshot of recent reforms.


Understanding the Effects of School Funding

By Julien Lafortune

Funding for California’s K–12 public schools has reached record highs, but gaps in student outcomes remain. Understanding the benefits of additional funds, and how to distribute those funds, are key concerns for policymakers. This report offers insights from a robust body of research on the extent to which higher spending improves outcomes.

blog post

Most Parents Hope Their Kids Will Go to College, but Costs Are a Concern

By Deja Thomas

Overwhelming majorities of California parents want their children to get a college degree, but many parents worry about costs. Among households with lower incomes and lower educational attainment, the shares saying they are “very worried” have increased in the past year.

blog post

Extended Freeze on Student Loan Payments Could Help Many California Borrowers

By Darriya Starr, Jacob Jackson

The federal government’s moratorium on student loan payments during the COVID-19 crisis, along with plans to eliminate defaults and delinquencies, may leave many California borrowers better off than they were before the pandemic, when many struggled to make progress on their loans.

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