John Edwards, former presidential and vice presidential candidate, is championing a new program called "College for Everyone." I think the title of the program is a slap in the face to people who don't want or need a college education. If we really needed everyone to go to college, we would just put it in with the K-12 education system and make it free. But we don't do that because the fact is that most people don't really need a college education.
Most people? I think that a college education is beneficial for making you into a well rounded person, but in most cases it is not essential for the work that you will spend the rest of your life doing. Why would we want to make decent people feel like they are failures because they didn't go to college? It is a noble pursuit, but so are a lot of other things that don't require a college education.
Half Sigma has had some thought provoking posts on this subject over the past year that have really persuaded me.