A new Public Policy Institute of California report finds college remains a worthwhile investment for most students. But it also found that more students are taking out loans, and in larger amounts. Below are some of its findings:

-- Just 33 percent of California State University freshmen took an education loan in 2010, compared to 47 percent of full-time University of California freshmen.

-- At private nonprofit colleges, 59 percent of freshmen took out loans, compared to 78 percent of those who enrolled at a for-profit college and 39 percent of those at public colleges.

-- Between 2005 and 2010, the average student loan amount went up by 36 percent in California even after adjusting for inflation, reaching almost $8,000 for the first year of college alone.

-- The increasing student debt burden in California coincided with unprecedented state budget cuts. California reduced its general fund contributions to public colleges, universities and community colleges by one-third between 2001-02 and 2011-12.

-- Student loan debt in California is lower than it is in other states -- largely because of the number of students in community colleges and public universities, which have lower tuitions than private schools, and because of the need-based grant programs for California students.

-- Recent high school grads entering the job market (ages 18-22) have an unemployment rate of 29 percent; for recent college graduates (ages 22-26), it's 10.5 percent.

-- Wages for those with college degrees (ages 25-64) were higher than for those without one, regardless of what they studied, but the major mattered: those with an engineering degree earned a median annual income of $96,000, the highest, compared to $57,000 for those with degrees in education, the lowest.

-- The median wage for those with a high school degree was only $39,000.

You'll find the full report at www.ppic.org.