The movie, Dick and Jane, has this quote "It's the money, that's the principle. That's the principle of the thing."
I think it applies to deciding where to matriculate.
The best school for a student is the school that the student's family could afford or chooses to support it. For well-to-do families, it might be the schools that offers a generous scholarship; for not so well-to-do families, the school might be the one that offers generous financial aid. The rest is up to the student to decide how to make use of available resources and opportunities and find a balance between academic life and outside life out side academics.
The best school is the one that the student is going to enroll, not the one the student dreams to enroll.