Measuring the Value of an Ivy DegreeThe Payoff for Attending a Selective College

New study questions the economic benefit of attending elite institutions

While some parents will send Junior to an Ivy League college just to have something to boast about at cocktail parties, most view a highly selective college as an investment.

They're betting that a degree that can cost more than $120,000 will lead to a successful career and, perhaps, a big salary for their son or daughter.

To the delight of Ivy League admissions officers, most studies have confirmed such an economic payoff.

But the studies have failed to account for