The phony debate (which is partly a cable news plant) over college, is it worth it? is a symptom of the neoliberal distortion of culture and economy; the suspicion lingers that undermining liberal education is a concealed motive of the economic elite who can also make the plebs more subservient if they are more narrowly educated, especially in science, subtract the liberal arts.
This is a fatal flaw of capitalist economies: a serious social contract would simply make higher education free to all and make the unprofitable luxuries of liberal arts study a fundamental of sane culture.
We have repeatedly exposed the stupidity of science jocks, suffering the illusion of smarts for narrow skill sets: the inability, or example, to escape the darwin paradigm is baffling. But the diagnosis is of students trained in narrow science tracks, who are also subtly trained into contempt for anything not set by a narrow standard. It is a constant at this point to see people obviously intelligent fixated by science fundamentalism and stuck in a peculiar mentality of science-religion.
The effort to privatize higher education is one of the ugliest of the neoliberal abortions: can we hope short of revolution for a society that can aspire to enlighten its citizens?