Let's tell everyone they need college in order to be successful, but let's not be specific about what kind of college will get you success; after all a basket weaving degree is just as valuable as an engineering degree.
Let's tell them that college is so important that we'll make government-guaranteed loans available to be sure they can afford that critical degree.
We'll add to the mix the natural market reaction of increasing prices as more money is made available to pay for the product.
Then we can all act surprised as loan loads increase, the feel good degrees don't allow one to make payments causing the ability to pay those loans to decrease resulting in a requisite government-bailout for everyone who got a student loan to pay for a degree that has no value.
If you think a degree is going to have a positive economic value for you then you make the investment to get the degree. If that means working two jobs and taking 6 years to get a degree then so be it, you can make the economic decision to do that. If the economic numbers don't make sense for you then don't go to college to get a degree.
The whole story line about college being better for you economically is based on a mis-understood or mis-applied correlation: people who went to college earned more than people who didn't. That headline is based on the overall group. A more interesting question would be what is the net cost of college by degree-type. A student who spends $50,000 for a worthless degree will be overshadowed by someone who spends $50,000 for a degree ultimately worth millions. The average of the degrees is higher than those who have no college but the value is still close to zero for the person with the worthless degree and $50,000 in student loans.
That $50,000 degree worth millions isn't because of the degree. It's because of the application of the knowledge attained with the degree by a person driven enough to use that knowledge in a way that creates market value.