Despite the importance of a college education for economic success, higher education costs in Connecticut have soared. Over the past two decades, there has been a 258% increase in annual tuition and fees (in nominal dollars) in the Community and Technical college system, a 286% increase at the University of Connecticut, and a a staggering 346% increase at the Connecticut State University system. In recent years, student loan debt has grown at an astounding pace. Between 1989-90 and 2003-2004, the percentage of full-time, full-year students with loans increased from 36% to 50%; average annual loan amounts grew 38% in constant 2003 dollars. Public investment in higher education pays for itself many times over. So increased state investment in higher education in Connecticut is a wise way to reduce student costs and increase access for all qualified students.