Quite honestly if someone at 18 could borrow a 1/2 million I would probably be better advice to lever in on capital investing in the form of stock portfolio than for education.
This is very insightful. We do our young people such a disservice with ideas like "college is always worth it, no matter the cost" and "follow your dreams and get any degree you like".
Before allowing a teenager who has never balanced a checkbook or is able to handle the monthly commitment of renting an apartment to rack up 5- or 6-figure debt, we should be requiring some level of financial education, especially with a focus to cost/benefit analysis and budgeting.
If mom and dad can't afford $500k for college, we should not be handing blank checks out to junior to spend any way they see fit on college, especially given the current trends to force the public to pick up the tab on defaulted or forgiven student loans.