The average college graduate has around $30,000 of debt, hardly hundreds of thousands.
The average trade school graduate has $10,000 of debt.
Given that college grads have significantly higher salaries, and significantly more horizontal and vertical movement potential, I'd hardly say that a college degree is not worth it. ...
You must be talking about the US. In Europe I'd be surprised if the average university debt is even 1/4th of that. The last time I checked Oxford medical school had almost exactly the same tuition as MBTI (before their financial scandals saw daylight.) Asian, South American and African Universities cost even less and techies (unlike some tradesmen) are competing in this global market. Yes, your college degree is worth something but first consider that in India there are tens of millions of middle-class people with PhDs in whatever you think you're an expert at. In Spain, Brazil, China there are hundreds of millions of highly-educated and unemployed university graduates.
If I were a chancellor or comptroller of a state or alumni-subsidized university I'd be worried that people will find out that many US universities don't even give a fiscal ROI, much less a societal one. They are morphing into either trade schools or glorified country clubs.
Those with money focus on the fraternity aspect, rub elbows with wealth and push themselves into a cushy job with friends. They can major in some of the useless esoteric degrees (believe me, philosophy and psychology are quite practical compared to some college curriculum.) The others are channeled down the "trade- school" quick fiscal ROI path. They get a degree in Management Information Systems, Accounting, MBA or Computer Science and hope what they learned is relevant for at least as long as it takes to payoff their student loan.
Yes your college degree is worth something, so is a house, so are dot com stocks, beanie babies and tulips. But it isn't worth as much as most people believe it's worth.