A comment on alphagameplan.blogspot.com from cailcorishev reminds us that females are biologically programmed to be matchmakers for their own children, and this is a reason why women pursue status so vigilantly; gaining status means gaining higher status for their kids.
You’re right that there is usually an aristocratic class that herds its children into “appropriate” marriages with carefully vetted candidates, and one deciding factor in that process may be intelligence. However, that has nothing to do with the claim that men love smart women. When a college girl is telling herself that her degree will make her more attractive, she’s not thinking of being attractive to some upper crust guy’s mom so she can get selected for a near-arranged marriage. She’s thinking it’s going to be attractive to some exciting, wealthy man himself. And that’s a lie.