Of the country’s nearly 18 million undergraduates, more than 40 percent go to community college, and of those, only 62 percent can afford to go to college full-time ... A quarter of undergraduates are older than 25, and about the same number are single parents ... Last year, more than $41 billion was given in charity to higher education, but about a quarter of that went to just 20 institutions. Community colleges...received just a small fraction of this philanthropy.

Students who earned vocational certificates from for-profit colleges made an average of $900 less annually after attending the schools than they did before...leaving those who took out loans hard-pressed to pay them back. By contrast, demographically similar students who received the same certifications from public community colleges earned $1,500 more than they did before attending school.