Barriers to the baccalaureate

New research underscores the challenges to affording college

California is home to 2.7 million college students. Of them, 20 percent face housing insecurity. That’s just one of the many barriers to higher education highlighted by the Young Invincibles and Lumina Foundation, a national nonprofit think tank and private foundation, respectively. Together, the organizations released new data underscoring the challenges to affording a college education. The results are based, among other things, on Lumina’s benchmark affordability, which states that “students should pay no more for college than 10 percent of their discretionary income for 10 years, and the earnings from working 10 hours a week while in school.”

Here are some of the results:

• Only 38 percent of California institutions are affordable

• Only 4 percent are affordable for students facing housing insecurity

• California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is the state’s least affordable four-year public school ($18,530 per year)

• California State University-Dominguez Hills is the state’s most affordable four-year public school ($3,297 per year)