It's an interesting question that I ponder a lot. It really comes down to the definition of "well in life", for the most part: I don't have a burning desire (beyond fantasy) to be rich and I couldn't care less about a career. My focus is on family in all forms and trying to better myself mentally and spiritually (aka my relationship with God) while truly enjoying life's little pleasures. I actively avoid "grand" things, actually! But one can't just ignore that money is a necessity. Also for some people the fulfillment they want from life does involve a career they feel passionately toward or taking a job that improves the world in some way and so on.
So with those two factors (1. Everyone needs money, particularly with a family, 2. If you DO want a serious career) then college is a major boost - and sometimes a necessity, even when it shouldn't be. For example, I firmly believe that education is so much more than a classroom and textbooks and someone with the legal title of teacher. My father never even finished high school, yet taught himself so much about machines and computers and programming that he is indispensable in his job. On the other hand, of course we want a doctor to have every type of study under their belt and be legally tested and passed. Sometimes on top of what a formal education can offer, you need the *proof* of your knowledge (which is unfortunate in some instances, though understandable in many of them). Going back to my father, I see how respected and needed he is; yet I also know that with a degree he could probably get a pay raise and without it that if he wished to look for similar work elsewhere he'd have a difficult time proving his worth (it isn't as if he could ask his current boss to talk him up to a new potential boss that he's jumping ship for, of course).
There are many people who become writers, chefs, managers, small business owners, and so on without a college education. So "need to go"? No, not generally - with the exception of certain fields. I actually heavily oppose how much emphasis is placed on formal education (keyword being formal). But that *is* the way the world is and one has to acknowledge it. Therefore if you're sure you're going to put that degree to use in getting a job you care about and/or earn a healthy salary from then it'll make your life easier in the long run to do college at a young age.
All in my opinion only, of course!