I've been turning this over in my head. I'm one of five kids. I don't remember my parents telling us where we could and couldn't apply to college. They asked us, and we decided where to go. I'm certain that they (and their wallets) heaved a sigh of relief when 4 out of 5 chose to go to college in Israel.
There is no way I would let any of my children even apply to a private college. Even if we could somehow manage to send a deserving older child, the precedent we'd be setting with regards to the younger ones -- and the hard feelings we would cause by saying no to them -- would basically be ruinous.
However, one of my siblings went to Yeshiva University. He was number three, so he could have started a trend, and my parents didn't raise any objection. My brother was the sort of person who was very socially active. In his time at YU, he ran camps in the Former Soviet Union. He worked with a group called Yachad, which provides activities for developmentally disabled Jewish teens, he worked as a mashgiach (the guy who makes sure the kitchen is Kosher at a commercial establishment.) He simply wouldn't have had these opportunities at Bar Ilan or Hebrew University (where the rest of us went).
For the rest of us, being in Israel was paramount. We weren't willing to give up life in Israel for any of those opportunities. Should my parents have forced him to go where we went, us to go where he went? It wouldn't have been right.
To bring the point home further, my sister and I both live within walking distance of my parents. My mom sometimes takes me to doctor's appointments or even grocery shopping, because I don't have a car. Should she have to pick up my sister for her doctor's appointments and grocery shopping to be "fair"? My sister has a car and would be more inconvenienced by shopping on my mom's schedule than she is by driving herself. On the other hand, my mom took my sister's oldest daughter to Beijing in 2007. Should I complain that she didn't take Kinneret? The idea is laughable.
While I see that it's important for parents to not favor one child over another, it's also important for equality to be less important than giving the children what they need.
For example, suppose you have a child with dyslexia who needs tutoring. Should you make each of your other children also have a tutor? Should you withdraw other children from advanced reading programs so that the child with dyslexia doesn't get jealous?
Equality is nice in theory, but it ends up not being to anyone's advantage when it's over-applied.