Wikipedia can be a great source of information, and millions internet users turn to it every day to find informaton. There is almost nothing that you could possibly be looking for that does not have a Wikipedia page. The important thing to remember when using Wikipedia is that it is not an encyclopedia. All the information written on it is generated by internet users. There is a very strong possibility that the information is not accurate.
It is not a viable source to be cited for college students when they are writing papers or doing research projects. Even the founders of Wikipedia state that the site is a great place to go to when you need some basic information about a subject for your personal use, but if you are a student and are writing a paper about the Boston Tea Party, you need to do your research in the history department.
Wikipedia is the place to go if you are reading a book and it mentions something about Greece and you want to know the capital or where it is located. It is also good for instances when you hear something about an actor or actress in conversation and you want to know who they are and what they have done. If you are curious about something and want a quick answer, Wikipedia is the place to go.
Even though Wikipedia is not a relevant source to be cited in academic papers, it can be a source for other sources. In other words, if the article is well written it should have several sources listed at the bottom that may be useful in your research. These could be academic journals or good .edu websites with information that can be extremely useful. Depending on what you are looking for, these additional sources may be just what you need and an acceptable academic source.