California Can’t Keep Up With Demand for College – But We Can Fix This

In 2019, over 70,000 Californians wanted to go to college but couldn’t get in - not because they weren’t qualified, but because the state’s colleges and universities had no room.

That number is set to double by 2030.  

This is according to a study by the College Futures Foundation, showing that while college enrollment is declining nationwide, California is facing the opposite problem: too many qualified state residents want to go. Colleges can’t keep up with demand.

Meanwhile, 1.1 million people workers are expected to lack a bachelor’s degree by 2030.

“The shortage of seats in the state's universities is especially hard on low-income students who can't easily move for college and students in regions lacking ample postsecondary options,” wrote Education Drive, which covered the report’s release.  And of course, populations that are traditionally under-supported are still at risk of falling further behind: almost 40% of Latino students eligible to attend a California state college did not do so.   

The fact that so many Californians want to go to college, and have the qualifications, is great news - a sign of success and what investing in education can achieve.  But it means more must be done to secure the futures of those whom success might otherwise leave behind.

Many of California’s colleges are already attempting to find solutions, cumulatively taking in thousands more students.  But it’s simply not enough.  

Calbright is intended to be one solution to this problem.  While our initial, beta-test cohort of students is small by California standards - about 450 learners - our model of free, online, education allows us to ramp up significantly once our systems are tested and our programs running on full steam.  We’ll be able to serve thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of students in the most often neglected communities who might otherwise lose opportunities.

Can we solve the problem all by ourselves?  Of course not. The California education system is bigger than any one college, and our approach is laser-focused on learners who want specific career skills in targeted industries.  That won’t be right for everyone. But if we can live up to our model and our mission, Calbright will be an essential part of the solution - for California, and for tens of thousands of learners looking for a path to a better life.  

See why Calbright's debt-free model and career training programs might be the perfect fit for you