Yes, there is a good deal of pressure to do well on these tests, but there really does not have to be. There are plenty of test optional colleges out there, including Loyola Maryland and Bowdoin (if I'm correct?) $2500 is a lot to pay for a good score, though not unreasonable considering that many courses cost up to $1500. In my opinion? Students should focus less on studying for these tests, and more on their GPA's. GPA is an indicator of past achievement, and SAT/ACT is an indicator of intelligence and potential for success. If a student cannot obtain a high enough SAT score to gain admittance into the school of their choice, then they should probably be focusing on a less selective school, where class difficulty will better meet their aptitude.
To be honest, that doesn't take any pressure off the SAT. Have you ever heard of Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Swarthmore, Amherst, MIT, CalTech, Stanford, and many, many others? More colleges require the SAT/ACT than those who do not. You might as well say, "Go to community college." Did you not notice that maybe not all kids want to attend the two you mentioned?