... which is why it's really difficult for parents whose kids are only 6 or 7 to know what the right thing to do is, from a strategic standpoint.

Ask parents who planned that way in California.

Many public university systems are edging nearer toward insolvency all the time, and that is having real consequences, not just for tuition rates (which are a symptom of the larger problem) but also in terms of institutional infrastructure in an educational sense. If I had a 6yo, I wouldn't plan on sending her to a public university in ten years. No matter how storied or robust. That system (in general) is currently on quicksand.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.