> But for 99.99% of "smart people," college is probably the best bet.
Perhaps not. In the USA: Of the top 1% earners, 49% have a postgraduate education. From what I could find, There are 600,000 doctors and 11,000,000 lawyers in the USA which could be said to cover the vast majority of the 49% group.
Of the remaining 51%, 23% have a college degree leaving 27% without a college education. Unless you are looking at very specific fields, it seems you are slightly better off without a degree at all if you are striving for financial success.
If your sights are not set so high, and you're happy with just a regular job: Only 30% of the population have a college degree. That means that 60% (discounted 10% to account for unemployment, which isn't even fair as many college graduates are unemployed) of the population are doing just fine without one.
With that said, you should still go to college. It is an amazing experience that comes with countless positives. Whatever happens in your future career with respect to said education shouldn't even be a consideration.
> Of the remaining 51%, 23% have a college degree leaving 27% without a college education.
Consider that some individuals who are members of households in the top one percent of income earners and have not completed a four year college degree will have married a high income earner who has completed a college or postgraduate education.