The WSJ has an interesting post on people who were rejected by elite institutions, like Harvard, and yet went on to make something of themselves, and became more successful than their rejected colleges believed. The stories are different. Some, after being rejected, never went to college and yet made millions. Others, after rejection, applied to other colleges–perhaps not as prestigious–and proved Harvard wrong.
It prompts a question: does everyone need college? Can not people make something of themselves, and be just as important despite enrolling to less prestigious colleges? The answer seems to be no in the first, and yes in the second.