I have to laugh at this. My husband's degree is from Michigan in Social Psychology (a very strong program), with an undergraduate degree from Reed College (private, highly regarded college in Oregon) and my degrees are from Northwestern in Performance Studies (private institution, but, when I was a student, with U of Chicago envy). I remember, when I was a high school student, there was certainly an ethos that the best students aimed for private institutions, with a few exceptions, such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Illinois was viewed by us Chicago suburban kids as where the middle-to-bright kids who couldn't afford private schools went. What jerks we were! And, of course, Michigan is viewed as one of the top, if not THE top school today in Musical Theatre!