Kids expect a lot from college too.....fun, great food, sports, dorm life, field trips and so on. It costs money to compete for students.
If one wants to work his/her butt off,,,,,,,have no fun (or time for fun), just go to Harvard at night............low cost, lots of financial aid (not loans), and open admission. (prove that you can do the work, and you get to stay) Just look up Harvard Extension School, and point your kids in that direction.
Service in the National Guard has put many a kid through college, debt free, but that too, is not a lot of fun.
I think that a very hard job, today, is to be VP of enrollment management, at a mid to lower tier private college. You are offering a product in competition with 1/2 price state schools, and you don't have a lot of evidence to show that your graduates are better off than state grads 4 or 5 years down the road.
<message edited by tmiles on Fri, 07/5/13 11:25 AM>