The Washington Post Magazine has a package of articles on higher education admissions and marketing, timed to the particular time of year, when high school seniors and their parents (not to mention those of us whose paychecks depend upon their decisions) are anxious.
This article, in particular, caught my attention, since it argued that name-brand private universities werent necessarily worth the expense. Unfortunately, the comparison is with flagship state universities and worth is measured in terms of future career and earning potential. I cant and wont quarrel with the conclusions, such as they are. But I will quarrel with the means of measuring "worth," which seems to set aside (probably as impossible to measure) any consideration of how life-changing or character-building (or "just" character-maintaining) a college education can be. The author is correct that you can get a decent education and build a good career network at any "elite" institution, public or private. Whether your future success depends more on your ambition and innate talent, as opposed what happens within the ivy-covered walls, is another question.
On the other hand, if college is supposed to put a seal on your character, suiting you to assume the responsibilities of a liberally educated gentleman, gentlewoman, or citizen, then other considerations ought to come to the fore. About these, we learn nothing from the article.