Many studies have shown that Harvard graduates go on to have more successful careers (on average) than their state university counterparts, even when you control for SAT scores and high school academic success.

This has led many a family to believe that going to Harvard is a golden ticket.  However, Malcolm Gladwell notes when researchers compared the success of Harvard graduates to those who were accepted to Harvard but chose to go elsewhere, they found no difference in average success levels.

This means Harvard’s talent is not in molding individuals to be the best, or even in providing the best networking opportunities.  Instead its talent is to discern which students are most likely to have exceptional careers.

Source: Getting In