Any debate around the question “Are prestigious colleges worth it?” is likely to be dominated by worldviews. Some people, regardless of any data to the contrary, would find it nonsensical to suggest that attending Harvard doesn’t lead to inherently better outcomes for graduates. On the flip side, I’ve heard equally passionate arguments from happy and successful graduates of public schools famous only to those living in the school’s zip codes. Worth, especially when applied to colleges, is in the eye—and the worldview—of the beholder.
But if you’re interested in an unbiased blending of recent data with the appropriate acknowledgement of just how subjective the nature of worth can be, Brennan Bernard’s latest Forbes piece, “Elite Admission: what is college worth?” tackles both clearly and effectively.