So of course the 19th century ushered in plenty of colleges devoted to upholding sectarian doctrines and preventing their youth from being exposed to the wrong ideas. This phenomenon occurred in both the new colleges being created along the frontier and also in revivals of denominational identity in established colleges. Figures.
Also, Hofstadter has (on page 212) a great quote from Philip Lindsley, a Princeton scholar who eventually became President of Cumberland College (later renamed University of Nashville, and now apparently only existant through some heir institutions):
Our people, at first, oppose all distinctions whatever as odious and aristocratical [sic]; and then, presently, seek with avidity [sic] such as remain accessible. At first they denounce colleges; and then choose to have a college in every district or county, or for every sect and party--and to boast of a college education, and to sport with high sounding literary titles--as if these imparted sense or wisdom or knowledge.I think he's summed up America's conflicted views on class and education, and the Underpants Gnomes views that Americans have concerning the value and meaning of a college degree.