1) If you want to make a lot of money you need to go to college.
This is absurd, and real life experiences of tens of thousands, if not hundreds, if not millions of Americans show that this is absolutely not a given. If you want to have a decent living you need to develop marketable skills and/or find a need and fill it. If you want to be wealthy you need to be an entrepreneur, and unlike so many management classes and college programs, you cannot teach entrepreneurship. It's something you either have innately, or nurture throughout your life. What can be taught though is self reliance, which is one of the foundations of successful entrepreneurs.
2) Follow you dream.
How many temples and shrines to the demi-god of misery could be built with the number of lives broken like so much tinder that resulted from following your dream. It's okay to dream of touching the sky, but one can never live outside the realm of reality, lest you end up like broken and burned like Icarus. Even Walt Whitman worked a normal day job as a clerk.
3) College is a great experience
This is one of the fall back defenses, the Maginot line of dilettantes if you will, from where they can unleash one last barrage against the armies of prudence and reason. However, rather than being a fiercely fought defense by highly trained and skilled soldiers like the GIs in Bastogne, it is more like the cobbled together volksstrum army of children, convicts, and the infirm sent to be slaughtered against the red army. If experience is the big reason to go to college, by experience it is generally understood to mean going to a new location, most often a big city, meeting new people, and studying abroad. Then why shell out a total of $ 50,000, though it can easily balloon to over $100,000, over four, more like five, years on 'experiences' when for a fraction of the cost you could simply move to a new city, join a few clubs, and travel around the world on the cheap. Far more memorable 'experiences' could be gained if someone simply took that college tuition and toured the world for a few months.
4) If you want to be a humanistic/well rounded person/critical thinker you should get a liberal arts education.
This is the other fall back defence that is used. I mean who doesn't want to be a well rounded individual with the ability to critically think? Critical thinking is paramount to success in life so it must stand to reason then that you need a liberal arts education to succeed? Unfortunately this pretty little butterfly cannot escape the web of those who have had the misfortune to earn a liberal arts education, yet hold it with utter contempt. I am such a person. And it isn't liberal arts education that I have a problem with, or rather it wasn't liberal arts education I have a problem with, its the horribly dogmatic and insular education that passes for liberal arts today. Let this be known, I have two degrees, one is in finance, and the other is the humanities, and I will tell you know that this line is nothing more than that, a line. A liberal arts education doesn't make you a well rounded person if its nothing more an anti-capitalist socialist apologist self loathing agenda. I was forced to take a class that was little more than a Castro apologist seminar using the defense that while Castro is a dictator its America's fault because America used and abused that nation for its own end. Yes America backed up Batista, a dictator and thug in his own right, but that is no reason to give thugs like Castro, or murders like Che, a pass. And as for liberal arts education teaching you critical thinking; what a joke! Want to know how to be a critical thinker? It simply entails that question you question your ideas and beliefs and actively try to see where they are wrong. That is it, nothing more, nothing less. Socrates dissertations on critical thinking boils down to simply questioning ideas, yours and others, in an effort to eventually find the truth.
5) I studied Asian American Transgender Studies and did just fine.
This is aggravating because what is true individually doesn't mean it is true in aggregate. Just because you, who studied a degree with no real marketable skills, became a successful vice president of a multi-national doesn't mean that it was the degree that is responsible. If could very well have been that you are simply a competent individual. Take a cousin of mine for example, she studied English and ended up touring around Europe for a year or so. She continued studying, doing the normal track that one does with a degree like English, when eventually found herself in a sales position for a major video game publisher. She know manages large accounts and pulls a salary in excess of six figures. Was it the degree that did it for her? No, it was her ability to socialize with individuals and her innate competence that got her to where she was. Your degree is nothing more than a slip of paper whose value varies from industry to industry and company to company.
6) But you meet new people in college!
A variance of the experience argument. If you want to meet new people, move to a new city, join a club, or do online dating. A lot of that can be done for free even.
Any other poorly thought out justifications for an overpriced slip of toilet paper anyone else would like to add?