People are all different with different motivations and intentions. A kid that parties in high school and does not care about receiving high grades will most likely stay in the same pattern during college. College is meant to be a source of higher education, as well as a social experience. However, if you are not motivated to pass your classes, to gain specific knowledge, to put forth time, or to stay on track, attending college will not be a beneficial action.
College is definitely not meant or effective for everyone at all. Some people just are not meant to be in that evironment and can not keep up. If you cant keep up, do you think it is effective to be there? No. I do think college is meant for most people but not all.
Many students cannot wait to get out of compulsory education and piling on more won't make a difference. Education is important. Technical schools and vocational schools should be on the rise. A person who is not going to work in a job that needs it, doesn't need to go to college. We try our best to educate in elementary and secondary school. An education is necessary for good citizenship, but not required for people who don't want or need it.
It is one of the most expensive purchases a person makes in their life, yet there are no guarantees by the vendor. There are also no standards on the overall curriculum to ensure that you will be effective as a worker once you graduate. We just accept it, but with other purchases like a house, car, investments, there are some guarantees of performance and certain standards.
All you accrue is credits - you don't accrue anything that guarantees basic budgeting, negotiating, and other core skills, and with the skill-specific skills, those course vary from institution to institution.
In these days where businesses measure performance of employees, production lines, revenues, etc..., it is amazing to me that there is no post-graduation audit/survey of how a person faired in the work world based on their previous education.
College just gives you a higher chance, but it isn't effective for everyone. United States is expecting to create 47 million by 2018, and only about one third of the jobs are going to require a bachelors or higher degree. And it seems that 30 percent of the jobs are only going to need high school graduates. Maybe some of the jobs you want need a higher education, including going to college, like scientists. But what if you are interested in things like pottery, you do not necessary go to college to be a pottery master.
Everyone is different, has different needs, and learns in different ways and paces. No one person learns the same as someone else does, and never will. So college cannot be effective for everyone on such grounds, because some will not like the structure, or have a need for it at all, whereas others will thrive and crave that. It really is dependent on the person whether college works for them or not, for some it will, and some it won't. So no I don't find it effective for everyone because we're too different for that to be the case.