Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Jane McClure
Partner McClure, Mailory & Baron Educational Counseling

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Here is my video response to the question.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

DSS in College

There are big differences. In high school, IDEA's responsibility is to "provide a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to eligible students with disabilities, including special education and related services". IDEA does not govern college, only high school. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to college aged students. The ADA ensures that "no otherwise qualified person with a disability is denied access to, benefits of, or is subjected to discrimination in employment, education, or places of public accommodations". In other words, public high schools must provide the necessary services to guarantee LD students an education. Colleges do not have to provide services beyond the ADA requirements. High schools seek to give their students what it takes for them to succeed, colleges provide an equal opportunity to participate. In college, there is no "right" to an education. The student must provide the college with appropriate documentation to request accommodations, the student must be their own advocate, and there is no "due process" because the college does not have to give you the tools you need. If you are an LD student, be careful when choosing a college, make sure the college has appropriate services for what you need. Here is a website to clarify matters: http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/cq353postsec.aspx

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Every campus will have a different delivery system for student support services. While some schools specialize in meeting the needs of students with learning differences, others will expect you to totally manage on your own. When you are doing campus visits you need to make sure you address these concerns, so that there are no surprises once you arrive in the fall. Some institutions will charge for services, others will use student tutors vs. professional tutors, and others will expect you to make all of your own arrangements. Whatever the case, make sure you are realistic about whether you can be successful given the set up on the campus you choose.

Renee Boone
The College Advisor

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Not all services offered at the colleges are the same. For a decent comprehensive guide, check out the K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities. You might want to familiarize yourself with the excellent programs offered by Landmark College in Putney, VT, including their 2-year undergraduate program, their transitional program for high school students and their visiting college students semester program. Other colleges, including U Arizona, U Denver, Curry MA and Muskingam OH offer specialized programs to support learning differences. It is imperative that you are proactive and self-advocating in seeking help both in admissions and while a student on the campus.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

In terms of learning differences, accommodations provided are largely the same. Students with documentation are able to gain needed accommodations for both classroom and test settings. But, the overall philosophy and emphasis is different. High schools support students by helping them to gain understanding about their learning style. Colleges presume that students know themselves and are prepared to self advocate.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

Minors are treated differently than adults, and college is an around the clock experience. There are differences too numerous to mention.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

Is the disability support services provided in college the same as those in high school?

It depends on the school. You can find a variety of services both in high school and at the college level. There some great programs for students with disabilities, but you will have to do some hunting. The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities is a good start.

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

That depends...

Many colleges have far better support services for students than most high schools, but that does not mean all do. It is very much a case by case situation. You need to look closely at the services provided by the colleges you are considering. If you need a more comprehensive program it might be smart to hire a consultant to help you. It can become overwhelming to navigate and a consultant who knows about LD services will know which colleges have better programs. There are not actually a lot of colleges with the highest level, most thorough services.

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

not the same and don't compare it

there is a big difference in pulic and private high schools in supporting disability. therefore, you should expect the different in private college and public institutions. none of them are the same. it has a lot to do with funding resources, college's policy and support from the local and government agencies.

Lisa Carlton
Owner www.collegematchpoint.com

How To Access College Disability Services

No! Many students and parents are confused about this issue. Disability Support Services in college are different from high school. Colleges do not use IEP's or 504's. Don't let this discourage you. I find many of my students get great services in college. The key is to understand the process to follow to access the services. The first step to accessing services is to have up to date testing that clearly states your diagnosis and needed accommodations. The testing must be done in the last three years. The next step is to complete the needed paperwork to apply for services. The Disability Support office will review your documents and determine what services and accommodations are offered to you. It is important to note that some colleges are more "disability friendly" than others. Find out about this process when you are considering colleges. A strong Disability Support Services office can greatly enhance your experience in college.