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.

But according to a recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics, only a fraction of high schools are starting later than 8:30 a.m., which is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.[U.S. doctors urge later school start times for teens]The average start time for high schools in the United States is 7:59 a.m., according to the report, published Tuesday. For middle and elementary schools, it’s a little later: 8:04 a.m. and 8:17 a.m.

Mastery-based learning, also known as proficiency-based or competency-based learning, is taking hold across the country. Vermont and Maine have passed laws requiring school districts to phase in the system. New Hampshire is adopting it, too, and piloting a statewide method of assessment that would replace most standardized tests… More than 40 schools in New York City — home to the largest school district in the country, with 1.1 million students — have adopted the program.

School reputation matters. Across a variety of disciplines, professionals who graduate from higher-ranked schools begin their careers with less debt relative to their income. And for the most part, this trend is still apparent a decade after graduation. There’s one exception: medical professionals have more or less the same debt-to-income trajectory regardless of their school’s reputation. With respect to student debt, all medical degrees are created equal.

The McKinney-Vento Act is designed to help districts and county offices identify and remove barriers to education for homeless students ... In 2014-15, the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education, schools across the nation enrolled more than 1.3 million homeless students. California is home to 20 percent of those students and subsequently received the most McKinney-Vento funding last year — $7.5 million.

This near-absence of racial diversity means that racism is largely left out of Utah’s conversations about economic inequality. That leads to some conversations around inequality that would be unbearably fraught elsewhere. When the poor people are, by and large, the same race as the richer ones, people find it easier to talk about them ...  as folks who may have made some mistakes and started with some disadvantages, but also as folks who could be self-sufficient after a little help

Research shows that integration benefits all students. But the experience of Howard County...demonstrates that bringing students of different backgrounds together in the same schools isn't enough to ensure their success. Where educators have long spoken of the achievement gap — the differences in academic performance between white students and black, and affluent and poor — some are now focusing on the so-called opportunity gap.

less selective schools that accept a large number of students from low-income backgrounds...help them climb the income scale. They include schools like the City College of New York, or Cal State Los Angeles, or University of Texas Pan American... All three of those schools took more than a fifth of their students from the bottom fifth of the income scale, and all three are in the top 10 schools ranked by the share of students who move up two or more income quintiles.

for prisoners, the practical advantages of a college education are impossible to deny. Only 2 percent of BPI graduates return to jail, as opposed to about half of released prisoners nationwide. Even more importantly, BPI alumni make vital and often unexpected contributions to their communities upon their return. In their prison classes, they talk about working as youth advocates, counselors, and teachers. And once they are home, that’s mostly what they do.

City College of San Francisco will be free of charge to all city residents...who have lived in the city for at least a year...The money will come from a measure...enacting a transfer tax on properties selling for at least $5 million ... the city will pay $5.4 million a year to buy out the $46-a-credit fee usually paid by students. The city’s contribution will also provide $250 a semester to full-time, low-income students who already receive a state-funded fee waiver.