My late older brother went to Brooks and was glad he did. I personally never had a minute of formal instruction, and am glad I didn't. I don't think either of us were ever asked about education. I'm not
doing any commercial work now; but the only thing clients ever cared about, with either of us, was the portfolio.
The best educational experiences I have had (law school, in my case) were set up in such a way as to ensure that those who succeeded only did so because they acquired the ability to organize their lives and energies and developed strong self-discipline - absolute necessities for success in law.
I would assume that the best photo schools are similar.
And if the school is a good one, it will attract faculty and other students who are inspirational as well.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Before I started a building systems service business, I feared that there would be times when I (later we) couldn't perform the work. That never happened as I recall. All my problems were in getting new clients, more work and running a business what with payrolls, financing, taxes, and dead beat customers. I suppose it's the same in photography. Once you learn the skills to take a decent shot, you have to find customers and run a business. Don't forget to take courses in these disciplines as well.
I am dissatisfied with my work. My life has become stagnant. Picking up my film camera after some time of shooting electronic capture and heading back into the darkroom has been an awakening. I'm planning on returning to school to seek a formal education in photography. I no longer really care about money other than what's needed to live. I make an above average income at this point. But the work is ruining one of my hobbies. I want to find a way to get on paper what resides in my head and school seems to be the way to learn.
I'm looking at 2 schools. The Washington DC School of Photography and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. At this point Pittsburgh carries more interest for me but I need to visit both. I won't need to borrow for either one.