What's in a (college/university) Name?

All I know about the education offered by a lot of big name schools is assumptions, based on the known facts of their selectivity and their cost. I guess people choose to go to those schools based on a combination of: because the education is good, and, because they can.
Being not young and looking at big student loan debt in the future, I really need to dig deeper into the assumptions about a “good” (expensive) school. Good doesn’t have to be expensive, I know. The school I’m transferring to has an agreement with the community college I’ve been at for two years, and they have generous scholarships which will cut the cost in half for me. It isn’t ivy league, I doubt it would have any recognition outside my region. I am basing my decision to go there partly on the fact that their program is harder to get into, partly because they are more personable to deal with, and, they have an art museum that I like. I am hoping that the general feeling among students in my CC (borderline panic, it feels like a race to get to the money) wont be at this other school, I hope the focus will be more on really learning.
At the CC I’ve been at for years, they barely know your name, but at this other school, you get personalized attention. Maybe they need to do that to get people to pay the cost!! haha But I’ve gotten it from a program instructor on a random walk-through also.
Anybody know of a good college rating resource?

Quote from Voyager: "In any field there are plenty of state schools with as good or better reputations than private schools - and a good number of private colleges which are basically rip-offs, and whose market is people with money who can’t get in anywhere else.
…Don’t want one of these.

A lot of it will depend on what sort of job/career you want after graduating and what industry you are looking to work in. Graduates from Harvard and Stamford and MIT are typically not looking at at the same pool of jobs as graduates from some random state schools or community colleges. Even within large companies, not every entry level job is equal.

And thus the system works.