The expert college counselors at International College Counselors recommend that students with disabilities follow the same steps for choosing and applying to a school as any other student.
As importantly, if you’re a student with a disability, you need to evaluate schools based on their ability to accommodate your needs.
There are support services available for students with learning disabilities at many colleges. The expert college counselors at International College Counselors understand these services vary in quality and extent from school to school.
Expert college counselors at International College Counselors recommend you start by reviewing your student’s needs.
Meet with the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team or an International College Counselors advisor. The goal is to better understand the disability and its effect on college choices.
Ask these questions:
How does my student’s disability affect how he or she learns?
What are my student’s academic strengths?
How does he/she learn best?
What strategies does my student need to help him/her learn?
What facilities may my student need?
What environmental conditions does my student need? For example, if a student is in a wheelchair, the best college may not be on a rural campus where it snows a lot.
What careers are your students interested in? (Stay realistic about how any learning or physical needs may influence these career areas.)
Once these questions are answered, help your student begin building a college list. After narrowing down the college choices, either you or your student should contact the disability services office of each school to determine if a college has the services and accommodations that can support your student’s needs and meet any specific requirements. Programs, policies, procedures, and facilities must meet the needs of your specific situation.
You may also want to ask to meet with one or two other students with disabilities enrolled in the school who currently receive support services. They are often the best resource for practical information about the strengths and weaknesses of the school and programs.
How to help your student be a strong candidate for admissions:
Give your student encouragement and support! Your student needs to succeed to the best of his or her abilities. It is important to know that a school cannot deny admission because of a condition if a student meets the basic requirements for admission including application deadlines, grade point averages, extracurricular activities and college entrance exam scores. In fact, you don’t even need to tell a school a student has a disability on your application, unless you want an academic adjustment or to explain something.
For more information on helping a student with a disability choose a school and navigate the college admissions process, contact a expert college counselor at International College Counselors at 954 414-9986.