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Economic figures are correlations, not cause effect relationiships. Those with college degrees are generally more intelligent, more motivated and wealthier to begin with. Success correlates with initiative regardless of education level.
In addition to providing career skills, college broadens perspectives, introduces a range of peers, and provides potential mentors and participation opportunities. On the one hand these opportunities can be found outside of college, on the other they can be ignored by college students.
A significant fraction of those with college degrees lack most of the advantages generally associated with a college education.