Lots of interesting points – but what should 18 y.o. do during those 4 years otherwise? Work? Where? Opening business sounds like a good idea – but what kind of service does one know at tender age of 18 anyway? That leaves cashier/teller/McD kinds of jobs. Not a whole a lot of learning there…Not to mention networking aspect of college – that could have some solid value down the road, no?
Not arguing that kid should go to college no matter what – but financial justification seems a bit off and definitely not the only reason out there.