ETA: I went to college with a bunch of stuck-up, snob sorority girls and frat guys. Spoiled brats. Parents were completely paying for their kids educations and they were just drinking their parents money away. No concept of responsibility or maturity at all. That's NOT going to be my kids, let me tell you. I made excellent grades because I knew I was paying for them! No mommy or daddy to bail me out. Our plan right now is to have our kids completely pay for their own college out of federal loans and grants (scholarships are ideal...). IF they graduate with a minimum GPA (3.0 for a science/math/engineering degree and maybe 3.5 for a liberal arts degree) we'll assume the loans and pay for them. If not, they better budget for the 300$ a month or marry someone rich! Eating ramen noodles 4 times a week never killed anyone. Also, if someone *doesn't* go to college just because they didn't have parents to pay for it, they didn't deserve to go anyway. The government has wonderful grant/loan programs to help people pay for their own college. College is no longer a luxury for the well-to-do families. Everyone can go to college now. Money is available and if you get a degree in the right field, jobs are available also immediately to help pay those student loan debts.
I believe Ramen WILL kill you over time. I ate plenty of it in college and am still alive to tell about it, but I am seriously hoping we will have enough cash to help dd buy better food In fact, that is FAR more important to me than a college education.
And, as a former beer-loving sorority girl who paid her own way through school and got two engineering degrees that would have been paid for by my parents if they had the same GPA rules as you do, I resent some of the stereotypes you are flinging around here. I know plenty of people that bombed their way out of school that were footing the bill. And I also know plenty of people that graduated with top honors on their parent's dime. But whether or not that even matters, the fact is, college is going to cost a buttload more when my dd is that age than it did when I went. I *barely* scraped by, even with my strict Ramen diet. I am not going to pretend it might not actually be impossible to do it on your own in 15 years. This is not at all a factor in my own family size, other factors weigh more heavily in our decision to have only one, but it is something I think about. I have no idea if dd will even want to go to school, but I am facing the reality that if she does, the only way it may happen is if we help. And she can even be in a sorority if she wants
I would also like to point out that my sorority's average GPA was far higher than the average for all women (or men for that matter) on campus. And *gasp* some even had parents that paid their tuition!