The judgements you make are certainly valid within your personal context; however, one can view statistics showing that undergraduates from University of California institutions are more likely to continue their education and achieve graduate educations.<quoted text>Well, I would have to argue that some of this "talent" is questionable. I would also question the graduates leaving these "institutions as being of the best "Quality" as well. Do they have a better advantage as far a marketability? Certianly. My U of Hawaii and U of Florida certianly helps, but They are nothing compared to Ivy league, Stanford, Cal, and a couple others.
One only needs to see the number of Nobel laureates listed as faculty in the UC system (the school boasts a total of 57 nobel laureates.. well in excess of any other system) to see that the researchers affiliated are of higher caliber.
BTW. Cal is part of the University of California System.
UC students are seen across the nation as among the highest caste of undergraduate students.