College Myths

Posted on August 5, 2019 at 11:50 AM

Which of these statements is correct?

1. State colleges and universities are cheaper than private ones
2. All universities offer the same supports for students with disabilities, because they're required to by law
3. Ivy League/top tier colleges are the best.

Answer: NONE of the above are correct, and this is why BTA Education offers college consulting services. We'll explain each point below, but first, we want to explain that the "best" college for you or your child is the one that best meets your needs: academically, financially, and personally. If you or your child has a disability, we work to ensure the best supports are provided at your school. Below you'll find a basic outline of our process: we will help you find--and get admitted to--the best fit college for you.

To be fair, the following are not always incorrect, but they are not always correct, either.

State colleges are NOT ALWAYS cheaper than private ones. Price is one of the main excu
ses parents and students give for not applying to private universities. It's true that, In nearly every case, tuition and fees at state institutions are lower than at private ones, but there's more to it than that. Many private universities can offer significantly more financial aid than a state institution. It's not uncommon for a private university--if they really want a student--to offer financial aid packages that make the total cost less than or equal to your local state university. This doesn't always happen, but it happens often enough that you should consider private, as well as public, colleges.

All universities DO NOT offer the same supports for students with disabilities, just because they're required to by law. We could write pages on this, and maybe someday we will. Parents sometimes use this as an excuse to only look at local or nearby college: why look in other parts of the country? Every school offers the same supports. No, they do not. It's true that all colleges and universities need to meet federal requirements for students with disabilities, but that's a relatively low bar. Some states require more supports than the federal government, and many colleges provide additional supports beyond what is required in order to attract students with a particular profile. Even for basic services, there's a lot of variability in terms of how easy it is to access services and how those services are actually implemented. In other words, depending on your disability, some schools are designed to support you, and some will do only the minimum required by law.

Ivy League/Top tier colleges are NOT ALWAYS the best FOR YOU. It's true, these colleges are at or near the top of almost every ranking. However, everything depends on your definition of "best." In many cases, the more academically rigorous a school, the more competitive the environment is, and therefore the more pressure-filled the environment is. If you or your student thrives in these environments, then these schools probably are the best. If your student is not motivated by high pressure and competition--if they thrive in a more supportive, collaborative environment--there are hundreds of excellent colleges out there, but none of them are in the Ivy League, and few appear on lists of "highly ranked" colleges.

At BTA Education, we understand the differences among hundreds of colleges nationwide. We'll help you find a set of colleges that are right for you, and then we'll work with you on your application to maximize your chances of being accepted to one or more of these colleges.
















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