The U.S. higher-education system is stacked against many students. Reporters at The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education and NerdWallet's investigative team are probing aspects of the system, and have experiences and tips to share. UMass Boston's mission is to serve students from poor and immigrant families, but for decades the university has suffered from poor leadership and physical neglect. The Globe is examining why vulnerable students, and taxpayers, are left to foot the bill. Across the country other students are lured by for-profit colleges that overload them with debt. Scammers identify likely victims and target them in student-loan "debt relief" scams of the type exposed by The Chronicle and NerdWallet, which recently completed investigative stories and launched an SEO-juiced web tool to warn consumers. In another project, The Chronicle's Title IX Tracker monitors sexual-assault investigations. Probing the Ivory Tower may seem daunting, but it's increasingly important in a world where education can still be a way to narrow the gap between rich and poor.