But perhaps it is more foolishly élitist to think that going to school until age 22 is necessary to being well-rounded, or to tell millions of kids that their future depends on performing a task that only a minority of them can actually accomplish.
The good news is that there have never been more alternatives to the traditional college. Online learning is more flexible and affordable than the brick-and-mortar model of higher education. Certification tests could be developed so that in many occupations employers could get more useful knowledge about a job applicant than whether he has a degree.
Career and technical education could be expanded at a fraction of the cost of college subsidies. Occupational licensure rules could be relaxed to create opportunities for people without formal education.