I'm sorry about your friend. The entire higher education situation that California is in right now has really just put me off to the idea of going further in my education to be honest. I don't even know if telling students to go to college is even the best advice anymore because of the horrible debt they'll probably incur. In addition, the schools are just so competitive. They're chock full of people going to college to wait out the recession and the colleges are cashing in on this.
The prices are outrageous, and those with degrees still can't find jobs. Those with BAs are still better off than those without however.
I've decided that I'm not going back to school for a long time. At least not until I've paid off my loans just for getting my credential (the cheapest credential for only a year, and I still have like over 10K in debt).
And even then, I probably won't go back until the education bubble bursts (if it is a bubble), or if I somehow magically find a way to go to school without having to go into debt. I'm putting aside money each month from my paycheck in the meanwhile for an educational savings fund. What is disappointing is that even after three years, I will still probably not have enough to pay for a single year of tuition not even counting living fees and such.