The assumption is that it is a lot more work to go to an Ivy League school than to go elsewhere. Certainly, there is more money involved. I imagine there is quite a large expectation of excellence as well, but excellence is not a means, it is an end. To think that you amount to something so that you can qualify to go somewhere to amount to something doesn't work - one goes to college to amount to more, and an Ivy League school has the ability to get you the most.
Reputation holds a large factor in all aspects of life, including education. Ivy League schools have a longlasting impression due to their historical reputations of excellency. An employer would rather hire a Harvard graduate than a community college, as better education is associated with Ivy League schools due to their reputations.
Ivy League schools are famous for a reason. They also tend to be not that expensive. The hard part is actually getting in. If you get in, they tend to have such fabulous financial aid that it won't normally be a problem for you to attend. So, please stop making excuses about not being able to attend a prestigious university because of cost.
The choice comes down to what you want out of college. If you just want to own the name Ivy League on your diploma, then go for it. But if you want an education, go to the best school you feel offers it. Ivy Leagues are great schools but they are not better then Cal Tech, Stanford or Duke. Just because you go to Texas Tech does not mean you will not get into medical school either. The prestige is gone from Ivy League schools, and they are hanging on to history while other schools surpass them in educational standards. For your education, go to the school that convinces you it has what you need to meet your goals. Don't go to Ivy League just because of the name.
Ivy League schools DO have a reputation for a reason, but I think that reason is largely based in the past rather than the present. I think you can get an education that is JUST as good at another university, if not an education that may be better depending on your field of study.