A big factor is that it was hammered into kids minds by parents that they "had" to go to college, to take on this massive debt - and that working a trade in any way was a failure. This was and still is parroted by parents who don't know better.
Imagine not having crippling debt coming out of school - or investing that money instead , even conservatively. While there are jobs that require degrees, many don't and companies simply aren't going to pay people enough to sustain school debt as it continues to increase. Now the narrative is that four year degrees aren't enough and all the push is into further education MBAs etc because these schools want their money.
There are more school commercials on the TV than ambulance chasing lawyers or pharmaceuticals at this point.
Ivy league schools are even worse, commanding ridiculous amounts of cash to enter if you can't get a scholarship and it's basically a networking opportunity - only to be afforded by those with the money to do it.
I'm all for higher education, but we have to start realizing that it's not for everyone and it's not worth getting into a lifetime of debt over in most cases.
Aside from all that - here is a good video around the cyclical nature of currency and where the US fits in.