2nd November 2013
Malcolm Gladwell held a speech at Google Zeitgeist Americas 2013 about drop-out rates in schools, especially in math and science. It turns out that going to one of the top universities is rarely a good idea, contrary to popular belief.
He cites a paper by John P. Conley and Ali Sina Onder (mistakenly copied as John Connelly and Allie Under in the transcript).
Transcript is in Malcolm Gladwell: Zeitgeist Americas 2013.
Addendum 28-Nov-2013: Alexandre Afonso: Do good universities teach better, or do they just select better students?
Addendum 22-Mar-2014: There is a somewhat related article in The New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell about college rankings in THE ORDER OF THINGS: What college rankings really tell us.