But if college isn't your child's future, what are their options?
Eduardo Sanchez is a high school senior who spent the summer doing yard work for the family business.
"I'd rather be in school than this," he said.
But the summer job will help Eduardo pay his college tuition. His father insists a college education is the only way for his sons to grab their share of the American dream.
"He wants me to succeed, and he'll do whatever it is he has to do to be able to pay off my college," adds Eduardo.
But Carl Wesley Daniel has different ideas about his future.
Despite his family's begging, Carl has his own ideas about achieving the American dream.
"My whole life, I have been dealing with just about every situation that came to pass. For some people, it's really great for them. But for me, I feel that it wouldn't be sufficient as far me being able to go and spend the money to go to school, when I've already had the life experience," he said.
The crisis facing Carl and the sea of seniors today is the question: is college worth it?
With tuition skyrocketing 400 percent over the last 25 years, coupled with an unemployment for college grads that exceeds 4 percent, is college the best, or only, answer?
And then there's this: most college graduates start their job hunt tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Some educators now say many young adults should consider college alternatives.
An apprenticeship program is occupational training that comes in the form of work-based learning. And you actually have a job. You're earning money while you're learning at the workplace.
Other alternatives to might be two-year community colleges, online courses, or even skipping all of that and getting a job.