What is the prohibitive factor slowing down progress? Besides greed.
Why do so few US citizens own their homes?
Why do we have widespread income inequality?
It all boils down to ease of access to higher education. Whether it is a skill trade such as welding and heavy equipment operation, or a professional such as being a doctor or lawyer, people need access to higher education.
A simple fix would be to socialize higher education. What the student pays would be based on their income and their parents income. For schools like Yale, Harvard, Brown, A&M,,, they would do a lottery system for applicants.
If a homeless person applies to Harvard and is drawn through the lottery, that person would attend school for free. That homeless person would be attending for free because the government would set the rates of the school.