perks, respect, & most of all, treatment h/she is accorded in American culture & society? The pecking order DOESN'T end in high school. Adult societies are an extension of the high school pecking order, believe it or not. People are oftentimes treated according to their relative pecking order status.
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C J Kelly's answer is an accurate one, I'd say. There are exceptions,such as the Maths Professor, Hawkins being the proclaimed theworld most intelligent human being, but overall it is money which provides the biggest advantage right across the world