I read this yesterday in the San Francisco Chronicle: "For the first time, California high school seniors face the prospect that a B average and completion of required college preparatory classes might not be good enough for a state college."
That is one of the scariest things that mediocre student can hear in California. When I was in high school I pegged a pretty strong B average. Never a stellar student in high school, yet not at the bottom of the barrel. For students like myself, I found comfort in the fact that I could get a excellent and inexpensive undergrad education in the California State University system. Now that it has been underfunded for close to two decades, it is not up to the task of fulfilling the educational needs of the state.
I don't have any answers for my beloved CSU system, but if I were a parent sending my kid off to college right now, I would look at many different opportunities. Many private schools are offering attractive tuition plans with decent financial aid. Saving on housing costs by staying at home and going to school is another option. I know many kids want to go off and have their "college experience", but sometimes you have to look a what is financially viable. Keeping an open mind toward educational experiences will improve your child's odds of finishing their undergrad education in four years and getting to work being a productive member of society.