College costs were make or break for New Rochelle High School senior Matisse Clayton: With a lot of help from Mom and her color-coded files, she applied to 18 colleges, was accepted at four, and won a full ride at one.
Eighty percent of community college students say they want to go on to four-year schools. But only 15 percent earn bachelor's degrees within six years. Model programs are tackling this transfer gap.
Four-year high school graduation rates hit 80 percent, capping a decade of significant improvement and suggesting that US schools can hit even more ambitious goals by 2020.