Read the report California has a long tradition of very low tuition for students enrolled in public higher education. The state broke with that policy in the 2000s, when recessions resulted in significant cuts to state funding for public colleges and universities—the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California’s community colleges. In response, tuition increased, especially at UC and CSU. To mitigate the impact of higher tuition, the state and public colleges spent significantly more on financial aid to help low- and moderate-income students attend college. Our review shows the state was mostly able to balance its goals of affordability, access, and quality while dealing with the financial crises of the past recessions. However, it also suggests room for improvement.