Which are the respected universities and how did they engender that respect?
There is no doubt that a degree from a top university will help you in the job market. Both the public and the private sector organizations are willing to pay extra for that cachet.
Much of the respect is due to history; a two hundred plus year tradition of educational excellence carries a great deal of weight.
Successful graduates are another key. If you are running a business school a slew of CEO alumni and alumnae will quickly gain you respect points in the University game.
The graduate programs offered, and the professors that teach them are also a plus when universities are compared.
If you planning on going to college, a high profile, greatly respected university in your chosen field is of course a great goal. College unfortunately no longer represents a quest for understanding, but has become a vocational school for lawyers, NGO activists, politicians and others of their ilk.
You can learn as much from most state colleges. But second tier diplomas received are diluted in job placement value by the huge numbers that are being created. In effect if the degree is not top perceived quality; your career may never take off in a bureaucracy. You may never reach the level where a job gets interesting.
Another option is to start your own business. You will still need to learn, but you can chose what to study for yourself, and do it in a far more informal environment.
Your business itself will teach you more than most colleges; - and you can fail and restart several times while your friends are still spending money and time at school.
There is an interesting write up, by me, about what to consider when seeking a degree.
At least think about all of your learning options first.