In Scotland they are free. College/university is not free in the rest of the UK, USA etc.
I think you get student loans in England that may or may not only come of your wages when you are earning enough. But that is besides the point. In a thread about super-tele lenses I said "One big white a year is affordable for most I would think" in reply to someone suggesting "You couldn't afford anything else either". That turned into all kinds of daft posts regarding people not being able to afford one, or having other expenses, or average photographers.... in a topic about lenses lenses an average photographer will likely never even consider, much the same way I don't look twice at a 50 f/1.2 for 85 f/1.2.
I strongly believe that pro photographers and definitely hobbyists can afford these, in some cases need to afford these. Much the same that a garage has to invest tens or hundreds of thousands in equipment, or when I need to buy a 28 core CPU to do my work and 256 GB RAM, or when in 2010 when I was rocking a 2x6core CPU with 128 GB RAM.. most people don't need that, but it is a tool for my job and if a photographer needs a 300 f/2.8, 200-400mm f/4.0, and 600mm f/4.0 I am sure as bugger they'll have those tools to do their assignments.