Malia Obama is off to Harvard, after a gap year. This despite her father's suggestion that a great education could be gotten at many colleges and universities, some off the beaten path.
I'm not going to fault her choice. It's true that if she had gone to Franklin Pierce College (to name a struggling college and the alma mater of Temple Grandin) she might have set an example to her peers of focusing on the essentials and disdaining reputation. But very few do that. Her parents didn't: instead of sending their daughters to DC schools like the Carters did with Amy, they chose Sidwell Friends, probably the most prestigious school in the area. So Ms. Obama is simply following her parents' example.
It's all well and good to praise community service and sacrifice, but few normal people will sacrifice themselves to the ideal, much less their children.