First, if our goal is to improve lives, we must focus fundamentally on economic progress, ie, wealth creation. A shorthand for this is to increase the size of the total pie. The mechanisms that increase the total pie (education, good salaries, low taxes) also have the effect of increasing inequality.
Secondly, and relatedly, when one talks of reducing inequality, what one typically means is clipping the high-flyers, as if they were the problem. High income earners, pretty much by definition, are the ones creating wealth -- read, jobs and products. To argue that their success should be limited in the name of equality is to argue that a smaller pie will serve our needs better than a larger one...
If a person really believes that inequality must be reduced, then it follows that having a four-year degree contributes to the problem. Can one live with that on their conscience?
Most arguments which advocate equality over progress, when you look at the evidence, are similarly self-defeating.
There will always be those for whom formal education isn't the most effective use of their time--and they are the ones who will, because of a lack of education, create the inequalities in society.