"It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning." Proverbs 17:16
Time for one of my personal disclosures here. Starting with myself: I was 17 YO when I started college. Boy, don't you know I was something!
After my first year, I was all that and more. My first summer home was filled with raw contention between myself and my parents (the folks paying for my college education). As with many in that situation I rankled at all of the rules. By the end of summer my best friend and I had determined that our best strategy was not college but to live the bohemian life in....Oklahoma City, OK. Wow. Sounds like a flawless strategy, eh? Not.
I spent 6 months in OK. Most of which were part of a serious effort to get out of OK. Humbled, I went back to UT having only missed one semester. I consider Round II the period of martyrdom. My school ID shows without question the level of misery to which I was subjecting myself. I made it a whole semester and a half before succumbing. What happened next is a whole other story.
Years later I went back to college and finished my degree in Engineering (paid for out of my own pocket, grants, scholarships and loans that I paid off ahead of schedule). I am not ashamed to say that at 17 I was a fool and I had no heart for learning. By the time I was 25 I'd corrected both of those "ailments."
Fast forward to today: My oldest 2 left home without any interest in college. Only one finished HS, and that through the GED. My 3rd is attending college but she decided to eschew parental funding. Since she seems to have obtained magic-funding, we're thinking this is part of the great-government-bailout of '09. "No comment" on the government's propensity for trying to educate those with no heart for learning. In chatting with #3 this week she commented that she's glad she's majoring in Art because it's not very academically demanding. I'm glad I'm not funding the "not very academically demanding" education.
TIP: Don't tie up your $$ in a 529 (college fund) since you may find yourself with more $$ there than your 1 remaining child can possible need, even if he is not a fool and he has a heart for learning.