Well said, Mr Hannula. And while a lot of your points are extremely valid, I would like to add that there is one advantage that traditional college provides that online learning doesn’t.
For people with who come from certain backgrounds or aspire towards specific fields, college provides a platform for networking unlike any other. As a child born into a middle-class family where practically all the adults were employed with the government, the only hope I had of ever being employed in the private sector was by going to college. It was expensive as hell and I had to rely a lot on scholarships, but college enabled me to forge relationships with folks I most certainly would not have run into in my regular social circle. (Full disclosure: I’m terrible at socializing, another thing college helped me a lot with).
Of course, one could argue that a lot of online classes require some degree of collaboration between students, but there’s something about face-to-face interactions and physically working together that group chats on Skype simply cannot hope to replicate.
That said, as you’ve rightly pointed out, there are a lot of factors involved: personal taste, the kind of field you wish to enter, your existing social circle etc. Sadly, education is probably the field where people are most risk-averse, and with good reason.
As Ms Bolton rightly pointed out, homeschooling isn’t for everyone. And neither is college.