I would have to second that. It really applies to anything, but for most anyone here, the technology-related fields.
You can know more than 90% of the people that have gone to school, which I did goto school, so I know a handful of ppl here that fit that description. The thing is marketability.
If you want to learn coding, networking, etc. You can learn best on your own usually or with a small group of ppl (be it online or IRL). It is far cheaper that way. But if you want a good job w/ good pay, you will have to go through the motions to get a degree usually.
This isn't to demean college or degrees. Same thing with experience and certification. It is really best to have a solid foundation of all 3 (experience, education, and certification).
To make up for not going to college right away, I would suggest doing volunteer work in the related field for experience, and maybe getting a related certification if possible. There are tons of project sites to volunteer at, I recently found a few from volunteermatch.org
For my resume, I made sure that whenever I wasn't employed doing computer work, I volunteered somewhere so there isn't a void in my resume. Which happens alot with contract work. If your coding, join a sourceforge.net project and contribute. More info about why you should help an open source project is here
Also, get your resume out there on job boards and be sure you take the time to make a good resume. Really sell yourself. If you aren't good at that, find someone to help you out or atleast have some other people look it over.