Education is continuous through out your career if you want to stay on top. And even later on to keep an active healthy mind. (I know that some colleges waive tuition expenses up to 6 hours per semester/yr for residents age 65 and older.)
It depends on what you want to pursue. If you want to be a chef or a photographer, or something else that is very creative - even construction or cosmetologist college isn't necessary, in my opinion. I believe that for liberal arts degrees college is more about learning to live like an adult - testing your values and learning what's important to you but the cost of college is outrageous for those life lessons!
My daughter just graduated and is only earning $11 per hour at a professional job. Not so sure that the huge expense of tuition is worth that! That being said, I think she had great opportunities at college and enjoyed getting her degree.
College is also an experience, not just a stepping stone to a career. Grant it, having a college degree does not get you a high paying job right away like it used to, which is sad, but I feel like every time I applied for a job, you had to have a degree, no matter what that degree is!
In this day & age, you will make more money with a college degree. Of course, because we are in a recession, now is not a good time to get a job but when things pick up, it will be worth having that degree.