One of the ways that going to college, even just a couple of years at a community college, helps people better participate in society is that it helps give them the skills needed to be able to read the pros and cons of ballot issues and political party's statements, etc. It helps develop critical thinking skills. And, helps them to better serve on a jury, so we don't have questions as posed by the Drew Peterson jury about what 'unanimous' means. One of my college professors also said college is life-enriching. Not all the classes you take will help you get a job or be required for your major, but they will show you options you have for what to do when you are retired. Like art and music classes, literature classes, etc. Unless those types of classes are in your major. Colleges offer a variety of classes to turn out 'well rounded' citizens. And I don't mean waist-lines.