I can tell you from personal experiences that the above quote is true. I paid for 100% of my college education and totally understood that I needed to stay totally focused on being a success in my studies. Otherwise all the hard work I put into just being able to be there would be fruitless.
My father wanted to help with the costs but he was spending 100% of his income just trying to live and have a home for himself and my younger brother. My mother, who had abandoned us years before was then married to a man with substantial wealth but didn’t find it necessary to offer any assistance. The very fact that she was married to a rich person was the primary reason I couldn’t qualify for hardship scholarships!
I spent five years living in the same low-cost dormitory and saw so many kids come whose parents paid everything. They for the most part spend much of their time in the lounge playing cards or just watching TV. At least half of them would last about three semesters and then flunk out. Some would go on to join fraternities with their strong social agendas. There was a core group in my dorm unit who were, like me, working many hours per week to pay for their education. They remained while the other came and went.
So, yes even more than forty years ago it was also true that those who were getting no help with college expenses were the most focused on their studies. I paid for 100% of my college expenses with work and a few student loans. But given the ever-increasing costs of a college education that seem almost impossible today. If you want to realize the true value of something it is more meaningful to bare some of the burden of obtaining it than to just have it given to you on a platter. Parents, even the rich ones who can easily afford it, should realize that their kids need to be responsible for at least a portion of the expenses.