Here's my advice since you asked for it.
First off, I believe Johnson and Wales University also offers a B.A. in Culinary Arts. They have several campuses...some in New England, in Florida, and in Denver.
As far as "prestigious" cooking schools, well, the CIA is pretty much the most famous. J & W is highly regarded as well, as is New England Culinary Institute (NECI). There are other, regional cooking schools too, such as the California Culinary Academy, etc.
From what I can gather, talking with other chefs both here and in real life, and from books, magazines, etc...the cooking school isn't as important as character. Many chefs take immigrant dishwashers and teach them how to cook, rather than cooking school students. Why? Because you'd rather have someone who you know isn't going to call in sick, isn't going to be late to work, etc, than someone with less than adequate work habits but knows how to cook.
BUT, a degree from CIA, J&W, NECI, etc will most likely get her foot in the door, it won't necesarily get her a job. Those schools do have good networking and a boatload of chef alumni, so take that into consideration as well.
As far as Le Cordon Blue, that is based on a Paris (basically, the most famous cooking program in Europe) cooking program that now has "branches" in other parts of the world...like London, Australia, Canada, and now the US. Is it worth the high price? Depends who you ask. "Better" is such a subjective term I hesistate to answer it. It's kind of like a name brand. Is a "Nike" shoe really better than a non name brand? Maybe. But you are paying for the name, not the shoe. (hope that makes sense).
Also, your question of salary has a HUGE range of possibilities. Right out of school, she won't make much money at all. Most likely, she won't even be considered a "chef." And, if she does get offered and takes a chef's job, she'll be in way over her head. Most likely she'll be a line cook, or a prep cook, or something along those lines.
She may expect to make anywhere between 20,000 dollars and 30,000 dollars, depending on where she works and how generous the company is.
Now, like any career, she has potential to move up. Head chefs at large, multi-million dollar restaraunts can make 60, 80, 100 grand a year. MOST don't however. Tell your daughter, and yourself, NOBODY becomes a chef for the money.
Lastly, the CIA specifically requires 6-months working in a kithcen for a reason. Being a cook/chef is hard work. Very hard work. On your feet 8, 10, 12+ hours a day. 1 break if you are lucky. Your feet will hurt EVERYDAY. It's hot in the kitchen. Easily gets up to 100 degrees (burners on full heat, ovens, steamers, broilers, etc). You most likely work in cramped conditions, constantly squeezing by your coworkers. She will mostly work with, for lack of a better term, "*******" male guys, machismo filled dickwads who might grab her *** and make kissy faces at her. (Not all, but some may--be prepared). She'll have to be good at handling stress--people yelling at you for food, she may be working on a dozen or more orders at a time--she'll have to be organized and not panic. She'll be lifting heavy things, trays of food, meat, dough--whatever. She'll be squatting down and reaching into her low refrigerator for food to cook--about 100 times a night. She'll be bending, twisting, lifting, etc. Then she'll have to clean the enormous mess she's made. Scrubbing, mopping, wiping, polishing, etc. She'll work just about every night. She won't have Friday or Saturday nights off anymore. There's a lot of drug use, and alcohol and drug abuse in the culinary feild. It's hard to have a family and a social life with people outside of the business. It's extremely insular and disfuntional.
(DISCLAIMER: the above is a generalization. It's not all like that. However, she should be prepared to face some/all of the above throughout her career)
If your daughter is truly serious about pursuing this career, then I'm going to suggest something you won't like. First off...let it sit a while. She's a junior, you said, so in 6 months she may decided that cooking isn't what she wants to do after all. It's good you are getting a head start, but don't panic yet. Now, when it gets time to pick a college, if she STILL wants to be a chef, then I siggest she takes a year off from school (or, at least, the CIA mandated 6 months) and work in a kitchen. It will quickly tell her if she wants to do this for her career. She'll realize, sitting there peeling her 10th sack of potatos in one day, that she actually doesn't want to do this. She'll know. Hey, is it possible for her to get a weekend job? Maybe one of the chefs in town could use her Saturday morning to chop veggies or something? Something is better than nothing I think...
The reason to do this is so that she doens't go to the CIA (or wherever), spend a semester there (along with 30,000 dollars) and decides she doesn't like it. What then? You're out a lot of money and time. Or what happens if you guys force her to go to a traditional college, and she hates it and flunks out after 2 years?
It's important for her to know what she's getting into. Too many people are attracted by the celebrity chef image. They think it's all Emeril and Rachel Ray and think, "Hey, that'd be FUN! I can do that!" But then are quickly brought back to reality.
Of course, there are other avenues to culinary success. She could be a caterer, a private chef, a pastry chef, a R & D chef (you know, the person who works for Kraft and makes new frozen food entrees). Restaraunt work is but one facet of what you can do. But, most likely, either for her Cooking School externship or just for job related experience, she will need to put some time in on the line.
Hope I helped somewhat, and good luck to you guys. BTW, there are several books on the subject of cooking shools and cooking. THey are generally near the cookbook section in bookstores and have all sorts of great info. There are even Cooking School guides which list just about every cooking program in the country (including class size, price, coursework, admissions requirements, etc).