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.

after decades of affirmative action, black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago ... The share of black freshmen at elite schools is virtually unchanged since 1980. Black students are just 6 percent of freshmen but 15 percent of college-age Americans,

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.

Roughly three out of every five individuals nationally are not making any progress paying down the principal balance of their student loans three years after they leave school (the numbers improve a bit in later years, but are still strikingly high). And because student loans are usually not dischargeable in bankruptcy, this particular form of debt can follow people for the rest of their lives, even resulting in the garnishment of Social Security checks.

if there is a noticeable drop in international enrollments, university revenue is likely to fall—and American students could face tuition increases to make up the difference ... Foreign students contributed $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Students from the six countries affected by Trump's travel ban—Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria—contributed almost $500 million.

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.

At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent ... About four in 10 students from the top 0.1 percent attend an Ivy League or elite university, roughly equivalent to the share of students from poor families who attend any two- or four-year college.

The for-profit college industry thrives on federally insured student loans – getting a quarter of all federal student loan dollars, or $32.2 billion, at the beginning of this decade – leaving in their wake students deeply in debt ... Over the past decade, there have been at least 65 state and federal investigations against for-profit colleges. More than 25 of these investigations have ended in court settlements or judgments worth over $1.5 billion.