I tend to think that the role of college has changed since then. Everyone is supposed goes to college now, whereas previously that wasn’t the case. A college diploma is what a high school diploma once was - proof to would-be employers you’re capable of showing up every day if they hire you.
To the degree it makes you any smarter it really depends on the student. But the same is also true for any other pursuit. You can learn a lot in college if you want, the college can’t make you do it.