This has created a situation where companies are using a very expensive means for the job seeker as a basic sorting method making that sometimes unneeded means an expensive requirement with little application to show for it after the initial sorting process.

Agreed. Bachelor's degrees serve different purposes for different individuals, but there's likely some blend of skills development and signalling going on for the vast majority, with the incidence of the cost being entirely borne by the student (job candidate).

ETA: One thing employers can do to circumvent this issue is, in cases where a degree is mostly a signalling tool, to include extensive realistic job previews in the screening process as a filter. If an undergraduate degree isn't truly necessary, then the additional cost borne by the employer in screening candidates can be offloaded to successful candidates in the form of lower starting wages.

Provided that the screening process is tiered, well calibrated, and accurate, firms should be able to minimize the additional costs on screening so that the initial wage gap for non-degree holding candidates is well below the cost of the degree.
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