i disagree with the statement "people tend to not value things that they don't think costs them anything".
i went to school basically free.
Personal anecdotal evidence does not contradict statistical trends.
There's a really stupid Allstate Insurance ad on that has a woman talking to a man about driving, and she asks him "so you say that men are better drivers than women? Then why did I get a good-driver check from Allstate..." This proves that Allstate Insurance has no clue when it comes to statistics, even though it is a business based on statistics.
History has shown that people who don't feel they have ownership of something don't care as much about it as people who do. If someone pays nothing for a car, for example by having a company car, he will typically not take as good care of it as if it were his own. Or rental cars. You don't know anyone who has expressed the idea that "it's a rental, I'm going to drive the shit out of it and I don't care"? I do.
An excellent example was the Cabrini-Green housing project in south Chicago. Low cost housing, nobody felt any pride of ownership, and the place was a drug-dealer, urinate-in-the-stairwell kind of place. This same concept is why Habitat for Humanity requires sweat equity from people who get houses from them.
i can tell you i sure valued that education.
Good for you, and I'm glad you got it. But I can walk about a block from where I am now and find buildings filled with frat boys and sorority sisters whose parents are paying for their college and for whom classes are a nuisance.
i consider the consequences, they are a nice life based on my degree and education.
Many people have a nice life without a degree or education. Some people drop out of high school without any regard for their future. You're at one end of a bell curve. The other end still exists.