Granted, people that can't handle college, or perform poorly, might think of it as conformity, and think of good grades as favoritism, but most college students, and particularly the best academic performers, are not conformists. What one considers conformity is better termed socialization and value system similarity, but such value systems are inherently individualistic and often politically liberal and leftist, although almost all systems require some level of indoctrination
Back to objectivity, one might think of education as a proxy for intelligence and productivity. Why? The correlation between educational attainment and IQ is about 0.6. The correlation between IQ and job performance is 0.4 to 0.8, increasing with job complexity.
Conscientiousness, the ability to follow through, is more likely the attribute one should single out, and this too has a high correlation with workplace performance.