So many factors go into making decisions about attending college, and which one. Majors, extracurricular activities, and where you are offered scholarships are three. Class and Ethnicity also factor in. My son is half-Black and dyslexic. I told him, when he did’t want to attend college, that I wasn’t sending a young Black man out into the world without a college degree. He didn’t want to attend because his dylexia made studying at least twice as difficult and time consuming as it is for others. He played basketball, but not well enough to get an athletic scholarship at a D1 school. By the time he finished his degree at a D3 school (which are all private) he was able to play well enough to walk on a semi-pro team or play overseas if he wanted, because he got to play for four years. More importantly, he attended a liberal arts school where he got a truly well-rounded education. His sport commitment and dyslexia made working a job impossible. I was able to pay his living expenses. The lessons he learned in college about teamwork, making powerful presentations, and taking responsibility for doing the work that took him twice as long as others has gotten him the well-paying job selling software to businesses.
While I completely agree college costs are outrageous, and gouging, unless a young person chooses not to attend (and many Millennials and Gen Zs are doing just that) or takes 6 or 7 years to finish, which can also set them back financially by postponing a career, or moves to Europe where college is free, the only other ways are taking on debt and/or lobbying congress to forgive student loans, and pressure on Universities and their boards to lower the cost.