I've walked more than a mile in your shoes with 3 sons. These were tough decisions. For us, there was much more in play than just academics, baseball, and finances. We sat down with each kid (each had an opportunity to play college baseball) and walked them through a roadmap for the next 10 years. Each son had some financial skin in the game, and there were tradeoffs such as working in the summer and not playing summer college baseball. We put the ball in each son's hand and let them decide based on our ground rules. My oldest son (engineer) had a lot of confidence he would have a job after college and forecasted he could have student loans paid off in a year. He had a job prior to college senior year (through summer internships) and his loans were paid off in 9 months to his private D1 school...he lived at home after graduation. Middle son decided on a great state public school (ACC) and engineering, but decided against D3 baseball. This was an easy decision for him, as he likes baseball but doesn't love it. He loves engineering (3 summer internships), and he's somewhat of an entrepreneur. His student loan was paid within 6 months. He's bought a car and house and he's only been out of school for 2 years. Youngest son decided against D3 baseball and went to a mid-size state school where he focused on ROTC and criminal justice. He's currently in the Army at Basic Training.
So, my advice is to sit down and talk about the next 10 years and find out what they are really passionate about, and are they willing to finance that passion for many years to come. Two my kids said "no" as they really had something else they'd rather do with their money. My oldest said "yes" and it was a great experience however, he had it all mapped out.