I know plenty of people who went to Yale/Harvard/Penn etc. Some are really smart, some are just entitled brats, these are the ones who generally work the fact that they went to an ivy league school into the first paragraph or two of any conversation.
I don't want to comment too much on the politics, other than to say this is a big +1 for music conservatories.
I have also noticed in my time being a judge, and also when going to summer music festivals (i.e Aspen) that certain prestigious universities (some IVY league) produced composers where it was
eyebrow raising. In some cases they just seemed lost. Other schools had a wide range. NYU in particular is like this. I have seen some really good composers from there, and then some shocking examples.
My point is, Juilliard - Eastman - Curtis (Yale is actually a very wonderful music school) always have amazing students. Never met a single one from these conservatories I would call "lost".
I think it is because there is no way to hide, or delegate your work. Students at more research oriented universities can hire ghost writers (I'm guilty of writing a few term papers for people so I could pay my NYC rent when I was just starting out.)
But if you are a piano major...... you have to give a recital. There is going to be a panel of judges.... you have to put in the hard yards. It's also a much smaller school than a NYU/USC. The teachers are going to know everything you are up to.
So..... let's give conservatories some credit !!