Briefly, yes. Regular ol' good students who haven't published in refereed journals or saved the planet single-handedly (or who just can't afford the elites without racking up massive debt) can still get into perfectly respectable four-year state schools. I mean, I think my college-bound kiddo is fabulous smile , but DC's resume is by no means up there with the ones described up-thread, and yet there were multiple acceptances, with merit aid offers, to very adequate state universities.

There are quality of life and values considerations that weigh more heavily with me than the incremental benefit of chasing an elite/Ivy education.

Time enough for big names when DC gets to graduate or professional school. If then.