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T20 Rules, The New Era setting

If your parents just funded a new wing at the university, you may well graduate summa cum laude, in addition to contributing a couple of million to the endowment fund to get entrance in the first place.

That has less to do with qualifications, and more as a requisite prestige ornament in the curia vitae.

Basically, buttressing ye Social Standing.

Curiously, in a British Broadcasting Corporation interview, one of this year's Advanced Level recipients observed that their graduate year will always have an asterisk, due to how their scores were calculated, and apparently inflated.
That comes with a price, the university gets the donor money, but its reputation suffers. The more dumb people it graduates, the less ordinary folk want to send their sons and daughters there.
That depends on what you want out of a college experience, generally, and specifically.

If it's just knowledge and qualifications, a cheap if obscure educational institution with the requisite teaching talent is sufficient. In theory everything in the middle that's overpriced could be discarded.

Getting into a prestigious university tends to be more about getting a recognized degree and networking.

If quarter of the student body is made out of Brahmin prodigy who somehow managed to get entrance, you can bet another quarter wanted to get in just to connect with them.