Any decent college education will excite your intellect and expand your horizons, but an elegant ivy-league education will instill a sense of confidence, assurance, well-being. Knowing that you’ve schooled and partied with other well-born, cut-above kids will put you in a good psychological place. It won’t mean a hell of a lot after you graduate, of course, even if your parents are loaded or you’re a recipient of a trust fund. Because we all have to get up early and start our own motors in order to live, discover and find our way.

The bottom line is that driven X-factor types don’t really need ivy-league educations because the most important things to have under your belt as you’re starting out are drive, curiosity, ambition and moxie. An elegant education is fine — it certainly doesn’t hurt — but 90% of the nation’s well-heeled college students regard college as a time to party and formulate their post-high-school identities and maybe give some thought to their long-range plans.

Except the vast majority of college graduates have no long-range plans. They never do. Most go-getters don’t really figure themselves out and how to get what they want until their late 20s or early 30s, if that.

But imagine what those wealthy parents ((including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman) who went along with the just-revealed college entrance bribery scam have passed along to their kids. Imagine the corrupt karma, the message it sends: “It was our judgment, son or daughter, that you aren’t brilliant enough to get into the best schools, and that you also lack that ambitious, hungry-for-achievement, X-factor quality that you’ll need without a good education, and so we decided that we had to flim-flam the system to get you in.”

Imagine what this could do to a kid’s self-esteem.

If I had to grapple with paying back a $75K college loan on top of every other soul-crushing difficulty I was facing in my 20s, I would have crumpled and died. Simple as that. I would have folded my tent, succumbed to despair, thrown in the towel.