An accomplished professional in New York, reflecting on his tenure at Harvard decades before, once told me that the most valuable thing about going to an Ivy League school is showing up, soaking up the atmosphere and figuring out that a great many of your classmates really aren't any smarter than lots of intelligent people you've known from all walks of life.
I'm reminded of his words by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who muses on his poor performance in school:
I've since gone out into the world, and worked in a profession where an Ivy League degree is damn near a prerequisite. No disrespect, and certainly no nod to the populist anti-intellectualism, but I'm not impressed.
Although I am impressed by some friends who've gone to the Ivies, I think he is generally right. The fact that alumni keep giving money to institutions whose endowments are grotesquely swollen only reaffirms my opinion.