Improvement Through Study in RPGs and the Real World
Some RPGs, such as Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying, have a mechanism by which you can improve skills by a program of study, costing both time and money. Similarly, in some versions of D&D some training is required to move up a level.
As a kid I must admit I thought that was a pretty easy way to get improvements. The main caveat is such characters cannot be involved in other activities during that period. As I near the end of the fifth class in my Master of Science in Strategic Analytics, something I am doing while maintaining a full-time job, being a husband and dad, gaming, and blogging, I've got a real appreciation for just how difficult accomplishing that is. I've a side blog dedicated to politics that I've needed to put in stasis as I work on keeping up with all of this - not for lack of ideas, but for lack of time.
Now that I think of it, there are a few games or supplements that actually take place at a school. I remember Last Unicorn Games has a Starfleet Academy campaign setting for their Star Trek: The Next Generation game. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was often assumed to take place at a high school or college. There's often the idea of a "Hero High" in superhero RPGs. And though there's no RPG for it, Hogwarts of Harry Potter fame would make for a great campaign setting. And it has the funky time travel device that Hermione used to double up her classes. I could use that around now...