What are the best ways for students with disabilities to find the right college?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

What are the best ways for students with disabilities to find the right college?

Lisa Carlton
Owner www.collegematchpoint.com

What are the best ways for students with disabilities to find the right college?

Students with disabilities should search for a college in the same way a student without a disability searches for a college. First, begin to ask yourself what you are looking for in a college experience- big college vs. small college, location, major, vibe. Once you have set your parameters for your search, start exploring colleges online. I would look at the majors offered, read student blogs, and take an online campus tour. When you have a college list, go back through the colleges and explore the disability services offices. For students who feel like they are going to need highly specialized disability programs, it may make more sense to look for colleges with these programs at the beginning of the search.

Donovan Blake
Lead Consultant Griffin Blake Educational Consulting

What are the best ways for students with disabilities to find the right college?

Students with disabilities must be aware on how you learn best. Then when looking a colleges, you can research if that college can support their learning needs. In high school you can take a college prep course to introduce you to the rigor of the work you will experience in college. Make sure that your IEP or 504 plan is updated during your senior year of high school. Then you can use it to request the appropriate learning accommodations at college.

William Kole
President/Founder No Stress College Counseling

What are the best ways for students with disabilities to find the right college?

When advising students with learning disabilities, I first ask them to identify what attributes they want in a college (i.e. geographic region, size, etc.). Once the type of college is identified, the student should directly contact that college's support services department. This allows the student to find out what is offered and whether or not the student would feel comfortable with that college's program. Students should keep in mind that not all programs are equally as strong, with some colleges having virtually no services. Also remember to ask what services the college offers LD students, and how successful the students in the program have been. I would also advise visiting the colleges and meeting with the director of the college's disability services. I cannot stress enough how important it is for students to have direct contact with each college. The best college for a student with a disability is to simply identify what colleges they are interested in, and find out if each one has a program that will meet their needs. It is basically the same process as any other student, but each student must do some additional follow-up.