they don't ask where you went to school
Granted I'm not a PhD in anything and far from it, I work in a pretty high level of IT infrastructure/architecture, and NO ONE asks me in interviews where I went to school. All I have is a 2 year AAS degree in computer networking from a local tech/community college, but all that matters in interviews is my experience... which is pretty damn good. No one gives a crap that I don't have a 4 year degree in computer science, they look at my experience with large companies and rapid promotional progress, and that's all they care about.
School definitely does matter in the sciences and PhD level stuff that you guys are doing, but for most people in this country in many professions, "working you way up" and getting by on experience is far more important. Sure, a degree can help you get that first job, but that's about it. In my field, I do very well for myself, spent little money on college, never went into debt, and got out into the work force a couple years earlier than my peers. It was win win all around, and I'm making more than most people who go to school for 8 years + (no offense intended).
The college system is broken in many aspects. For some fields, it makes sense, for others, it's a waste of money in many cases.