How does a student establish college eligibility for disability support services?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

How does a student establish college eligibility for disability support services?

Jane McClure
Partner McClure, Mailory & Baron Educational Counseling

How does a student establish college eligibility for disability support services?

Here is my video response to the question.

Lisa Carlton

Visit the Disability Support Office

Accessing Disability Support Services can feel a little overwhelming. The process is very different from high school. The key is to closely follow the outlined procedures from your college. I suggest you visit the Disability Support Office once you are admitted. Students are required to have up to date testing in order to be eligible for disability support services. Typically schools require testing that was completed in the last 3 years. In addition to testing each school has a slightly different process. You will need to complete a school form or application for services. At many schools you will also have an interview with the disability office. The purpose of the interview is to provide the school with more information about your disability. The interview is also a great time for you to find out more about the disability office's procedures. Once you have established eligibility for services, make sure to use the disability office. They are great resource for resolving obstacles you may face as you adjust to college.

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

college access is not open door pollicy

students shall be evluated and approved for disability support services. some colleges does not require such process but will review the student's background to determine the qualifications. you should pay attention to your applications and make sure you apply the right school.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures


Colleges require recent testing (check with each college, some are within 3 years, some 5 years) in order to establish accommodations or admittance to a comprehensive support program. Every college is different...some colleges you'll want to apply to the comprehensive program as soon as you are accepted, others want the applicaton to the program at the same time you submit for admissions. If you are requesting accommodations but not a comprehensive program, send your request after you accept your spot.

Rana Slosberg
Owner Slosberg College Solutions LLC

Establish eligibility for disability support services

To receive disability support services at college students usually need current, comprehensive documentation from a certified/licensed professional including a diagnosis and recommendations for accommodations. Students provide this documentation to the disability support office at the college and they will determine what services are "reasonable".

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

How does a student establish college eligibility for disability support services?

The student needs to self-identify by sending the recent testing and documentation (usually within the last 3 years) to the college's student disability services office. The college will let you know how they will be able to accomodate you. Not every college is set up to fully serve every student's needs.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Getting Accommodations in College: Communicate and Advocate. It is Your Right.

Generally if you have a documented disability and you were given accommodation in response to the diagnosis in high school, it should carry over so long as the testing and the documentation are up to date. A student will have to contact the appropriate office at their college upon enrolling so that the process can be put in place, but it should not be an issue so long as appropriate communication is undertaken. Generally, in dealing with disabilities, we are dealing with legally mandated issues and while there are some interpretive elements, in most cases the schools do not have much leeway and have established procedures to deal with these matters.

Ed Garcia
Assistant Professor/Counselor Austin Community College

Documentation! Documentation! Start Early...

At the college level students must self identify. They must contact the appropriate office and self identify. Usually offices that assist student with disabilities will be called "Office for Students with Disabilities," "Resource Center for Students with Disabilities," or "Office for Accommodations for Students with Disabilities." When students self identify and attempt to qualify for services they will need to complete some sort of application process. In addition, make sure you have documentation, documentation, documentation! Make sure you have documentation of your disability.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

How does a student establish college eligibility for disability support services?

Every school will have it's guidelines regarding support services eligibility. You need to make an appointment with that office to determine whether you qualify for assistance. Some schools are more sophisticated in their delivery models, while others are less comprehensive. Being able to articulate your needs, document your history, and advocating for yourself, will go a long way once you are a college student.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

How does a student establish college eligibility for disability support services?

Each college will have specific expectations and requirements. Some colleges have specific programs for students with documented learning differences. Students take skill-building classes alongside academic courses. In this case, eligibility is established during the admissions process. Otherwise, identifying pertinent accommodations or resources at a specific college is a student's responsibility. Eligibility for services would take place after matriculation (though most student support centers welcome individual appointments with prospective families). At a minimum, colleges require an up-to-date neuro-psychological or educational evaluation complete with recently collected testing outcomes. Institutions may request information from the student's former school to understand the past context of accommodations.