Previously, there was some (sensible) funding, to allow the brightest end of kids to go further, and get degrees - this was good.
Then everyone wanted a degree for their little darlings, so they could be the next head of marketing living in a big house and driving a porsche.
So government, who want votes from the idiocracy (yes, thats you, voters) , made a nice big fat slushpool of cash to allow that to happen, at least the degree part.
Then the colleges, looking at this slushpool, did what any good red blooded american does, and worked out how to drain it.
They did this by making sure that ANY kids, no matter how stupified by their own education system, could get a degree, and therefore contribute to the profitability of the college.
They did this by making sure THEY rated as one of the highest 'party colleges', so more kids would want to go there.
They did this by getting rid of any teachers who tried to make kids actually learn, and replacing them with teachers who would rubber stamp ANY lesson plan.
So, no kids were left behind - all of them got to be financially drained in return for a piss poor 'education' that would have insulted a first year student 20 year ago..
Everyone carefully ignored the simple economics that cleary showed:
1 - only the top few percent of your kids should EVER go to college - these are the ones who should be creating the new ideas. These people often dont actually make much money - but they tend not to be money focused.
2 - the majority should be going to trade colleges, vocational training, or just getting a damn job. These people actually do the work (often for damn good pay).
But no, the system is now well and truly fucked. Most of the good teachers have either left or been pushed out. Anyone who doesnt get a degree is labeled (and self labels) as a failure before they begin, and so much money is flowing that the powers that be DARE not rock the boat, because $$$$.
What we are seeing now is just the start of the repercussions, sorry.