“Go to the most prestigious college you can” is revealed to be bad advice. Similarly, the obsession with increasing the numbers of “underrepresented” students at top schools in the belief that this somehow improves their upward mobility (and “social justice”) looks like folly. Our selective schools, in short, are not all they’re cracked up to be and graduating from one is no guarantee of success.
That is because, Arum and Roksa maintain, our entire higher education system has pretty much succumbed to a non-academic mentality: “Educators have increasingly ceded their authority to students, and administrators have shifted institutional emphasis from students’ academic and moral development to their personal growth and well-being. Empowering and catering to students as consumers has only exacerbated these broader and deeper changes.”
An academic resume may matter socially, but after your first job it doesn't matter much for career. We wish strongly to believe that an elite "education" provides a foundation for more life enrichment and a dream-fulfilling career, but as time goes by I have my doubts. If you really care about intellectual enrichment, the Great Courses is all anybody needs.