On mom's suggestion, I took a listen to a short NPR piece about "colleges that change lives." It suggests that there are institutions that go beyond the fluff and conceited self-aggrandization of the big name and Ivy-League schools (and often their students). My college is featured!
The idea is that while the big name schools can be great, they're often overrated because of their big-draw name. I've certainly found that to be true since while I was extremely impressed with Harvard's grad-students, its undergrads did quite the opposite.
The book that the piece references: Colleges That Change Lives