Well... I am going to assume that it isn't everyone's highest ambition to work in a government administration position, even a top 250 one. I think this sample is somewhat biased by the industry it represents (of course Georgetown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and GW are going to be on the list -- they also have top political science/government programs). IMHO, the true "power" in this country lies in corporations today anyway (we could get going on a whole conversation on the role of corporate money in our political system, but that is probably not where we should go with this, so hoping the rest of this thread does not go down that rabbit hole...). But I will say that I just don't see this as evidence that we all ought to strive for Ivy educations for our kids. My D applied to no Ivies -- as others have said their future goal will be, ours was primarily to find a place where she could have four years with at least some intellectual peers. Our goals really had nothing to do with status or power. In the long run I want her to be happy (and for her being intellectually challenged is essential to her happiness) and be able to earn a solid living. I don't care if anyone oohs or ahhs over where her degree is from.

As an aside, we had a terrible time with my parents, who were convinced that Stanford was the only college worthwhile for her to apply to and attend! She didn't want to apply after visiting... we ended up having to stop talking about college at all with them after too much hassle from them during her junior year. To this day they still don't know where she actually applied or was accepted -- they only know where she is attending in the fall. So another minefield for you to navigate is expectations of others on what is best for your kid -- only you and your kid really know.