My situation was similar to that of vangoghfan. I went to the nearest local university because I could live with my family and commute there. This was back in the days when one could literally work one's way through college, which is exactly what I did. I had considered other schools; however finances made my attending anywhere but nearby impossible. In the long run, however, my choice proved to be the best. I have never once regretted my choice, even though it was thrust upon me; and have never felt that I was disadvantaged. In fact, I managed to earn my baccalaureate and first graduate degree from my alma mater. Later, when I had relocated, I earned a third degree, this time from a university near my then home so that I could again commute.
Frankly, with all the emphasis on which schools are better, etc., some consideration should be given to the ability and effort of the students. Even a good school can't do much for a poor student.