It is a sponsorship if the loans provided by the government are below market rate. Which I would assume they are otherwise no one would apply for them.
That's simply not true. It's not state sponsored loans. By your logic no one would ever by CDs (not the music kind) because they pay below market rates. Everyone would buy "above market rates" investments. But there's something CDs have going for them that makes them a nice investment in some cases. Can you guess what it is? It's pretty much guaranteed... it may be less... but it's guaranteed.
Student loans from the government are the same thing only it's the government doing the investing. It's only below market rates that they demand because there is no risk about being paid back. They are giving you money that you will pay back... even if you can't pay anything else you will pay these loans back. Banks have to charge more because there is risk involved for them. For the government, giving student loans is a GOOD investment just about every single time, because no matter what you are on the hook if you take the loan. A guaranteed investment almost always pays a lower return... that's just how the world works.
Plus like I said there are stage colleges and even universities like the University of California.
And tuition just keeps going up. I wonder why. It's not 10% more expensive to educate the same number of people every year is it? No, it's partly so people will take bigger loans... because THEY (both government and schools) know that idiots like me (I cannot fully separate myself from my past stupidity) will see it as a requirement and will do whatever I have to do to make it happen.
I think it is fairly obvious that professions which used to be learned on the job have been switching to college based for a long time. One example is programming and software development in general but there are certainly a whole lot more of them. At one time dentists did not require any special certification and in fact many hairdressers were dentists. This started changing in the XIXth century. In the case of dentistry in many places in the world you cannot do the job unless you have a degree. In the case of software development not having a degree will preclude you from being even considered as an employee in many places.
I think it's fairly obvious that medicine or dentistry is completely different than hairdressing. There might even still be hairdressers that are also dentists or hygienists, but really, who cares? Somewhere along the way we learned that there's enough to know about the medical field that it makes sense to require people to actually be SPECIFICALLY EDUCATED before they can practice medicine.
Electricians don't have to go to trade school. If you know an electrician (there are plenty) that will take you on then you can become their apprentice and work with them. I talk to electricians a few times a year that all wish they could find good help, but nobody wants to "work" anymore. The mere suggestion that you can't do on the job training for professional careers any more is crazy because no amount of education will make you a master electrician (a designation required to get many electrician jobs). It's work experience that does it... that's right... on the job training. Same goes for plumbers, locksmiths, machinists, and more.
I worked in a tire factory and and a medical device manufacturing factory. At the tire place no one needed a degree. It was all on the job training... Watch out for that big ass tire coming down the aisle on a hook and make sure you do what's needed to it without getting yourself killed. I didn't need a degree to do that. It paid pretty good too.
At the medical manufacturing place it was extremely low tolerance medical tools (think 'screws for putting your pelvis back together after you're in a motorcycle crash' and you'll have an idea of the types of things made there). Much of the work was still done on a regular lathe. Learned it on the job. Eventually, if you could show that you knew what the hell you were doing on the lathe you might get to move up to helping work on the CNC lathes and debugging / programming. On the job training is very much alive in places that it makes sense.
The truth that many in IT are not interested in sharing is that most IT work could be learned on the job. But the truth that some people who loathe the world as it is today and think that the world owes them a living seem to be unable to admit that many things are better to be "part of the foundation" of a career and could therefore be relegated to a professional training program.
So, for IT, for anything hardware related on the job is almost the only way to go. But the same is true for software. It CAN be learned on the job, but for any on the job training to work you need to have a "master" or an expert who will actually show people good processes (however you define that) and keep them from doing stupid shit that makes a simple algorithm take On^2 rather than O log n. It's truth that it could be done in an "on the job" fashion, but it's a shitload cheaper and more efficient to mass produce people who have a general understanding of what's involved and then use them as needed rather than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars training an expert on the job only to have them leave and then you have to start over.
It's not BAD that there are expert degrees to be attained so that employers know that you at least have some kind of clue before they start signing your checks. On the job training can be done for everything, but just because someone specifies that before you show up to apply for a job you need to be able to do simple math doesn't make them some kind of jerk for "offloading their hiring requirements to the taxpayer". I am the taxpayer and I don't feel like google wanting decent programmers to apply for jobs is somehow creating an undue burden on me if the student paid for their education with a loan or with their own private funds. Now if they got some horseshit grant FROM THE GOVT then that's another thing.