That 60 percent [dropping out or never attending] imposes real costs -- not just on themselves, but also on the country -- in the form of lower wages, lower tax revenue, and more welfare services and resources demanded from government. It's fine to point out that college isn't perfect for everybody, or that, like every investment, it has varying returns, or that taking out $120,000 in debt on an art history degree from a mid-level institution is a risky bet. But the obsessive media focus on these kind of stories distracts news audiences from the bigger picture. We have an education crisis in this country that starts with tens of millions of young people who are electing to cut short their education before or just after high school. Solving that crisis starts with information about the real returns to a smart college investment, not scare-mongering.Focus also on that 33% noted as "in college": if those individuals are being offered consolation-prize degrees from disaffected or consolation-prize faculties, or subjected to potted identity-politics curricula and student affairs re-education, or viewed as indentured servants subsequently to be milked for taxes, their situation, too, is a potential social waste.