College students did not have credit, they had bank accounts that mom and dad could place money in to pay for expenses.
I knew I missing out on something during my college years. The only person who put money in that bank account was me.
Also, we did have credit when I started college 38 years ago. Each and every student received a revolving account at the university store which sold textbooks and supplies, also wearing apparel, records, gifts and sundries. The account was accessed by means of a plastic card and a statement was sent out monthly (to the student). Incredibly modern, eh?