The Catholic Church in 1500 was a debased, corrupt monopoly. It collected onerous taxes, which people paid because they believed that there was no alternative if they wanted a decent afterlife. However, inwardly people seethed at the amount that the clergy extracted and the debauched uses to which the funds were put.
Colleges and universities are in a similar position today. They may not use "a thousand cunning devices," but they certainly extract onerous tuitions, taxpayer support, and alumni contributions. Parents pay because they fear that to do otherwise would condemn their children to a hell of low-status occupations and spouses.
For Discussion. Is there a potential rebellion brewing against the high cost of college?