I went to a university starting in 1980 (I got to witness the profound horror that many of the profs felt just at the idea of RR becoming president; the day after election was priceless). Of course, administrators had not begun to stomp out free speech nor the free exchange of ideas at that time (apparently it was my generation that started that when they became administrators and professors). HOWEVER, the reason a college degree is needed now is because a high school diploma means next to nothing! It simply means a kid was enrolled and showed up just enough to get through. While some kids work hard and take those tough classes and excel, others just get by with a whole lot of help from well-meaning teachers.