The A&M folks are especially over the top from what I noticed. My Aggie co-workers were absolutely obsessive about maintaining their alumni network and giving a helping hand to other young Aggies.
I was thinking about this as I look at my middle daughter who is a HS senior and hoping/planning to stay in the Pacific Northwest after she graduates from college.
I look at the schools she applied to like UW, Whitman, and Lewis & Clark. And I have to wonder if there is any way that “higher rated” schools like Swarthmore, Williams, Pomona, Northwestern, Duke, USC, or UCLA would actually provide any sort of advantage to her with Seattle or Portland employers. I have my doubts. In fact, a UCLA or USC degree would probably be a negative in Portland or Seattle with any employers who have UW or UO grads on the hiring committee. Especially a USC degree!
I’ve come to conclude that the ultra-competitive world of east coast college admissions as reflected by that recent Atlantic article is a world apart from the rest of the country: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/squash-lacrosse-niche-sports-ivy-league-admissions/616474/
Of course if one desires to work for Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, or “white shoe” Boston and Manhattan law firms then having the right pedigree is obviously important. But most of the world isn’t actually seeking those careers or life.