This is a popular argument topic with which I have some personal experience. I probably don't have to tell you about the cost of college these days. It's stunning. Over the past decade, many families have begun to question their ROI (return on investment) from so-called “elite" colleges. Those would be the Ivy League institutions and perhaps those stretching across the Top 25 or even Top 50 schools, as ranked by such “authorities" as U.S. News.
Anyway, I mentioned that I have some personal experience, as a parent, with the “value" of elite colleges. In my particular case, that experience comes from our son being admitted to and graduating from Princeton University. My being an independent college admissions counselor certainly didn't hurt our son's admissions process. I was able to articulate and coach the various components of the considerable task that faced him.