It doesn’t make financial sense for everyone. College students who perform in the bottom 25% of their university class actually have average lifetime earnings that are comparable to those that never went to college.
Also, many studies that look at average lifetime earnings are unable to exclusively point to a college degree as being the main reason behind those earnings.
College graduates are more likely to be from the dominant racial majority, they are more likely to come from families with significant financial resources, and they are more likely to be among the top performers in their high school classes. The increased lifetime earnings could therefore plausibly stem from racist hiring practices, family connections, or natural ability, not their university attendance.