My brother and I had this discussion last night as he set up a fund for his son...a little late mind you since the kid is 12 going on 13. UW Madison, who seems to raise tuition every single year, isn't the $3-4,000 a semester it was when I went to school 20+ years ago. I think its closer to $10K now? And no, you don't need a college education to be successful and I still think in today's economic climate the average guy might be better off developing a skill and being damn good at it. My MIL's boyfriend is a master welder - has a rock solid rep with his own shop - and is almost to the point he either must turn down jobs or cut back on his 70-80 hour work weeks. Even bringing in help in the form of a full time employee and two part timers barely allows him to meet deadlines - but he does meet them. Are you paying for your kid's college? I can't see how families with 2 or 3 kids do it considering the cost of an education now a days. UW Madison as mentioned above has also become more selective - where you could get accepted with a 2.2 GPA 20 years ago not any more. So even the "encourage your kid and hopefully he gets some grants and scholarships" barely covers your bases any more.