This is totally true: I ended up going to one of those top tier universities just because the economics worked out much better than virtually every other opportunity I had. Depending on how you account for things, actually ended up making a profit without working either a full or a part time job.
The culture shock issue was huge, though: half the people in my freshman dorm read the New Yorker (or, more accurately, subscribed to it and prominently displayed it as an affectation), while I hadn't even heard of it. Learning how to ape upper class cultural cues was probably the most valuable thing I got out of college.
I would have killed to be in a place where that many people read the New Yorker. My shock was the opposite. My fancy liberal arts school turned out to have very few people that read anything of quality unless they were forced to.
Same, except in my case my liberal arts school wasn't particularly fancy. The CS crowd was great, but every other department was composed of a student body completely alien to what I would expect in a learning institution.
I also went there becasue it was the best cost - full boat except the room and food. I really regret it now, because the most valuable thing I found out you get in a bachelors of CS is recruiters visiting the school plus job fairs of big businesses like Google and Amazon that come right to the front door. Small schools have nothing like that, and maybe a few dozen tech companies at most hiring alumni locally.