It wasn’t like this years ago. It has been an intentional effort to make higher education difficult for any but the richest. Over the past 40+ years, restrictions on student loans (increased interest rates, impossibility of forgiveness through bankruptcy, among other things) have made them ever harder to obtain while federal grants (eg., Pell) have been reduced by Congress year after year. This country has gone from investing in the general population, where education is not only a right but a duty, to trying to keep people out of it altogether. And sure, there are some lots of good jobs available without a degree, but look at who controls everything — those with degrees. And that’s why they only want the richest to have them.