Are there certain schools that cater to students with learning differences more than others?
Yes. Different colleges have different levels of support available to students with learning differences: minimal, moderate, comprehensive, and developmental services.
Schools with minimal services are the most common. Typically, they provide basic accommodations, don't have a professional learning specialist, lack a distraction-reduced test environment and may have peer tutors. A student with a learning difference generally needs to advocate for himself at a college with minimal services.
Schools with moderate services typically have many accommodations, a learning center staffed by a degreed professional, staff who will help advocate for the student, a distraction-reduced test environment, peer or professional tutors, support groups and/or workshops, specialized summer orientation programs (which may have a fee), and student-initiated organizational and study skills assistance.
Comprehensive programs generally charge a fee. These programs typically have a full-time director and additional staff. The staff may be involved in admissions and may communicate with teachers to advocate for the student. They typically have a Support Center with a distraction-reduced test environment and trained proctors. They also typically have support workshops; groups for support, self-advocacy and social skills; specialized summer orientation programs; and organizational and study skills tutoring, typically meeting 3 to 5 hours per week in small groups or individually.
Developmental programs also are fee-based. Typically they are a two-year core curriculum within a four-year college. These programs typically have specially chosen teachers and specific courses offered. They provide a structured, supportive environment and typically meet more times per week to build skills work into the class schedule. Often they will accept students with a lower GPA or SAT/ACT scores than the rest of the college.