I think quality education has much greater value than simply some rate of return on human capital investment (improvements your future career income stream). Higher education is probably destroying itself by trying to downplay the non-pecuniary benefits of liberal arts education, especially as the pecuniary benefits aren't exactly materializing these days. Signalling has long been an important part of a college education. It isn't just that college make you smarter and gives you skills - though it presumably does that, some - it's just a simple filter for potential employers, an external validation device.
But as tuition goes up, and the financial benefits of a college education go down, that signalling benefit stops being worth the expenditure.