The following is a translation of some comments by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt"l, by Rabbi Yehoishofot Oliver in his post, College Corrupts the Soul at A Chassidishe Farbrengen. Click on that link for the full post. I followed that up with some clarifications by Menashe regarding the Rebbe's position on college for different individuals' situations:
Learning in college is not merely a matter of learning facts. It means to be exposed to certain circles and activities that are antithetical to the values and faith of the believer. It would be like taking someone from a warm environment and casting him into cold water—“shock treatment”—several times a day. How long would he be able to survive?
In addition to this, the studies in university are set up to be at an age in which one’s personality is not yet sufficiently developed, usually before the age of thirty, and the exposure [to negative influences] then is more dangerous.
*From a private audience with the Rebbe in 5715 (1955), printed in Dem Rebben’s Kinder p. 211.
It must be pointed out, although in fact it should be self-evident, that all the above is completely unrelated to the issue of learning in college, university, or the like, where the prohibition is severe, and the danger great—and it is known that exposing oneself to danger is even worse than violating a prohibition. The entire atmosphere and weltanschauung of the environment in these institutions nowadays is permeated with the denial of Divine Providence, the notion that no entity or force can interfere with natural law, so much so that this is accepted as axiomatic and thus not even requiring proof, and as the foundation of all the studies, which need not even be explicitly mentioned.
In most of these institutions heresy and idolatrous religions are studied, and so on.
In the vast majority of these institutions there are no boundaries of shame and modesty, to the extent that they belittle and mock those who maintain such boundaries. On the contrary, the more immoral one is, the more highly he is regarded. The appalling situation in the campuses, dormitories, promenades, and so on, is infamous. One should not elaborate concerning shocking phenomena in general, and certainly not when it has reached the awful extent that it has in this case.
As for the famous claim that he or she will not be damaged and will overcome the test, and so on, the simple answer to this is also well-known. Even a perfectly righteous person, on the last day of his on-hundred-and-twentieth year on the earth [i.e., immediately before his passing], begins his day, before all his other prayers, by pleading before G–d: “Do not bring us to a test.” This matter deserves further elaboration, but now is not the occasion to elaborate upon this.
*Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 15, pp. 43-44.
 See Mishneh Torah, Laws of Idolatry, 2:2, “G–d commanded us not to read ... and not to think ... so that we not come to ask concerning the method of worshiping it ... ” See there further, and ibid. 2:3.
 In the morning blessings (Berachos 60b). Cf. Sanhedrin 107a.
Interestingly, Menashe spoke to Rabbi Levi Schapiro, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Beis Menachem of Manalapan, NJ, and he reported the following clarifications to me:
[That the Rebbe] was first and foremost concerned that a chosid (or any Yid for that matter) should not attempt to put himself into the situation of having to go to University at all. If he truly must, then he should take proper precautions. First and foremost, getting married. This would go far towards at least weakening the yetzer hara while at school. I was surprised to hear that the Rebbe generally allowed his married chasidim to attend with the proper precautions such as commuting, as opposed to living on campus, taking an appropriate course of study (not learning liberal arts lishma) and choosing a more appropriate school (Touro and YU vs. secular university).
(Picture of a UC Berkley Library courtesy of curiousexpeditions.org)
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