The only things worth doing have a story much like yours. And the things we all treasure are rarely the things that came easiest to us. I don't even know where my high school diploma is, but I know where my college diploma is, and not so much for the degree it represents, but because how my stoic father looked upon me with tears running down his face at my graduation. I didn't even want to go to my graduation (it took me six years to graduate because of the money issues), but I'm awfully glad I did. My very cheap dad insisted on buying me a school ring, though I didn't want one. It's now one of my most cherished possessions even though I long ago stopped wearing it.
That is what college should be about. Looking at a mountain of adversity ahead of you, and choosing that path anyway.
Getting prodded or coddled into going, especially on the taxpayers' dime, is NOT what college is about.