Do I have to spring for my kid to go to an elite college?
In what other realms of life do parents believe they have a moral/ethical obligation to pay for the most expensive option of a consumer good? Let's say the same 17 year old said, "I want you to buy me a Tesla. It's safer, it's more reliable, it's prestigious to own one, and driving around in it will raise my own "brand" recognition which will help me in my life and my career. I will attract a more desirable and successful life partner, and I will be hired by a higher profile firm with more opportunities for advancement." All of this MIGHT be true (might not be...), but how many parents will say, "OK. I'll put my own retirement in jeopardy so you can drive a Tesla"? So if you substitute the word "Princeton/Harvard/Yale/Penn" for Tesla, why does all reason go out the window?