With online education on the rise, exacerbated by the pandemic, we can see that the cost of university is merely for a diploma—a piece of paper, because whatever we want to learn, we can do it for free through YouTube or articles written by passionate professionals. We can also do it at a cost on reputable websites like LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare.
This was true before the pandemic and its arrival highlighted it.
The only reason to pay for a piece of paper is to practice a profession that required a certificatio to be part of an order, like a registered nurse, a doctor, a lawyer, etc.
It's easy for me to say all this, because I have first hand experienced with all three paths: