I went to college and paid as I went. A student loan was nothing that even entered into my mind. The time was different and I was interested in the education rather than living away from home and having the funds to live beyond my means. My parents weren't rich so it was all on me.
I would recommend to anyone going to college to do their first 2 years at a local community college and then do as much online stuff as possible. Spending as little time as you can living in a manner that starts you off owing more than you will most likely make in your first 5 years you have a job.