Assistant Front of House Manager; The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
In my opinion I think each school is independent to the student applying to it. One school is not necessarily better than other schools for every student. It is very important to research the programs you might be interested in more so than the overall prestige of the school. For example, I went to The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, which would be lucky to find itself on top 100 overall college lists. However, I did research and applied to their hospitality program which ranks in the top 5 nationally on a consistent basis. Try not to let yourself get too wrapped up in the prestige of schools nearly as much as the prestige of your specific area of study.
That being said, when you do start to look at programs I firmly believe you go into the program that has high prestige and the most challenging workload. 1) You in no way know that you're going to get poorer grades.. if you put in full effort and commitment to your studies, you can accomplish anything at any university. 2) Recruiters want to know that you have been taught properly. Getting B's in a rigorous class load in a top-tier program looks a lot better than a 4.0 in a school you shouldn't have attended and took a semester of ballroom dance at. (assuming ballroom dancing isn't your career of choice). 3) You'll gain more respect for yourself by attempting something that challenges you, and you'll build confidence when you succeed. You never know what you can accomplish until you try, and exiting school with a high-level of confidence is a huge head start on your professional career.
Best of luck,