I think it is very important to go to college; however, there are ways the experience can be less expensive. First I would recommend that you take your basic courses at a community college whose credits will transfer to the school of your choice. A community college is a way to earn credits in a more economical way.
Also, you should determine how much it is going to cost (loan-wise) to earn your degree in 4-5 years. If the cost is $80,000 for a degree in social work, whose average salary is $52,595, (according to Salary.com) you might want to re-think going into that field or the college you are choosing,
If, however, you want to major in Aerospace Engineering, that cost would be acceptable because your ability to pay back the loan is much better.
In addition, there are a number of scholarships available to students going into college, both scholastic as well as generic. Talk to your guidance counselor at school who can give you the resources for all types of scholarships.
I hope this helps, but yes going to college is definitely worth it. Good luck!