One of our eras of prosperity and growing middle class came just after WWII with the GI bill. Men who would never have gone to college did, bought homes, started families, had better jobs, sent their kids to college, etc. To foster economic growth you need an educated and/ or highly trained workforce. If you make education available to all, it's a self weeding process. Some will fail but everyone deserves a chance. As for student loans my kids are in their 40s and still paying them off. It's not right that 20 years after graduation you're still paying off college. Of course loan programs need reform.