Mr. Hinnov's comment on the non-value of a college degree is refreshingly cynical indeed! But he ignores one factor: Going to a college with a good reputation does not make you better educated, but it does give you contacts that could help you well into your future. This is why families and individuals will go into heavy debt to attend the schools with the best reputations if they can get in. As always, it is not what you know but whom you know and where you got to be known as a college student. That all this is true is not uplifting, but at least it is factual.
Even President Trump prefers Supreme Court justices from the Ivy League law schools, a sign that he values the degree he holds from the Wharton School at Penn despite the fact that he probably learned very little about economics and understands even less.
Since the best schools do not turn out the best graduates automatically, they know they need to polish up their brass often enough to keep the faith believed, even though it is doubtful. Were college-bound students and their families aware that all you need for a fine college education is a few good professors and a decent library, the top schools would see their applications plummet rather quickly, not to mention the effect of their usurious fees and tuitions.