I can tell you this much. My parents and my wife's parents didn't have much money. If we wanted to go to college we were told to do good get a scholarship or get a job to pay for it. We both went to college and paid for it ourselves. My wife and her sister continued on and eventually getting their Doctorate while working full time as they did for their masters. I can say that if it was free it wouldn't mean as much as it does since we paid for it ourselves. I think as we have gotten older kids are starting to expect things for free get a trophy for everything and don't realize that someone in this world has to pay for those things one way or the other. My suggestion is to start a college savings account for your kids as it also has tax benefits. Put a little away and you would be amazed if done right how much will be available when your kids are ready for college.