I put myself through college and ended up with ZERO debt. Yes, it was a pain and I ate a hell of a lot of ramen (and oranges, to prevent scurvy), but I not only got my degree, but gained much knowledge in fields outside of my major, which have surprisingly proven to be more valuable than my degree.
In my view, a degree in and of itself means nothing, except that hopefully a person is more well-rounded than some "self-made" person who has a very narrow vision of the world. Like unvaccinated people, people without lateral knowledge are bad for society. Without knowledge of history, sociology, literature, engineering, art, music, science, foreign languages, etc., those people will be little more than idiot-savants.