The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

For learning disabled students who want to go to college


College admissions officers and learning disability counsellors say that learning disabled students interesting in college should follow these steps…


Start preparing early

Many students and parents think struggling students should be shifted to easier classes. Avoid the temptation to retreat to lower track classes. College courses are hard so students should already start developing better time management and study strategies while they are still in high school.


Experiment with technology

From simple spell check and calendar software programmes to dictation software, there’s a growing abundance of tools to help students retain information and finish homework on time.


Be creative

Students who just can’t succeed in some required courses can look for substitutes. For example, those whose learning disability makes it difficult to keep up in foreign language classes can try switching to American Sign Language.


Put the student in charge

High schools develop special learning plans for students with disabilities but colleges don’t typically provide any special help unless students know exactly what they need and how to ask for it. Students have to be ready to have adult conversation about what they need such as note takers or special software.


Carefully research college options

Make sure the college fits the student’s unique learning style. Some recommended books to read include The K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder Preparing Students With Disabilities for College Success,  Colleges With Programs for Students With Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders.


Accentuate the positive

Applicants aren’t required to inform colleges of their learning difficulties and many students end up keeping quiet for fear of hurting their chances of admission. Colleges are banned from discriminating based on disability. Students in their applications should stress how they have overcome their challenges to increase their chances of admission.


Consider extra help

Some colleges offer extra counselling and tutoring to learning disabled students at no extra charge. But most colleges charge anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000 per semester for extra support. 


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An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.