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College: Continuing and Higher Education

Getting Started l Choosing a College l Articles l Success Stories  l The Law
Loans, Scholarships & Financial Aid l Resources l Free Publications

students going to collegeWhether your child is 14 and you are just beginning to consider the dreaded "C" word ("C" is for College), or you are a tireless self-advocate who is determined to take the next logical step up in your life (the "C" word again), this page is for you.

We've hand-picked some of the best content available on the web for those who are just getting started, seeking the "perfect" college fit, navigating financial aid, or are just curious about what information is available and when to start planning. For more in-depth information, be sure to review the Free Publications, Resources, and follow the links at the end of the articles, guides and resource booklets below.

Getting Started

College Board Simplifies Request Process for Test Accommodations. Beginning January 1, 2017, the vast majority of students who are approved for and using testing accommodations at their school through a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan will have those same accommodations automatically approved for taking the SAT®, PSAT™10, PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT Subject Tests™, and AP® Exams.

Quick Guide to Accommodations on the SAT for Students with Disabilities. Here is a quick guide to accommodations on the college boards (SATs). Wrightslaw research editor, Sue Whitney, provided the information in this Quick Guide to Accommodations on the SAT.

College Accommodations: What are my Child's Rights? Parents of kids with disabilities are often surprised to learn that their college-bound children are no longer eligible for IDEA services. Find information and resources that will help you along the way.

Help for College Students with Disabilities from Wrightslaw
Parents of disabled kids are often surprised to learn that their college-bound children are no longer eligible for services. This document from Wrightslaw contains information and many resources that will help you along the way.

College Planning for Students with Learning Issues. Is college the best choice for your teen with a learning disability? Check out these expert guidelines for making an informed decision about postsecondary education.

Why College is Daunting for Kids with LD. About half as many students with LD earn college degrees as their peers in the general population. While the reasons for this discrepancy vary, none have to do with ability or intellect. Addressing the issue involves changing the focus from getting into college to developing the skills necessary to succeed once there.

Preparing Your Child For College: A Resource Book for Parents (Archived 2000)
This resource book is designed to help you plan ahead -- with your child and your child's teachers and counselors -- to ensure he or she is prepared academically for the rigors of college and to save now and plan financially for the costs of a college education.

Peterson's Education Center
Peterson's connects individuals, educational institutions, and corporations through its acclaimed books, Web sites, online products, and admissions services. Peterson's reaches an estimated 105 million consumers annually with information about colleges and universities, career schools, graduate programs, distance learning, executive training, private secondary schools, summer opportunities, study abroad, financial aid, test preparation, and career exploration.

EducationPlanner is your one-stop career and college planning site. Offers information to research careers, choose a postsecondary school, apply on-line, and find ways to finance your education.

Life with LD: Navigating the Transition to College. The transition from high school to college can be a confusing time for any student. Deciding which school to attend is one of the biggest decisions a student will make. For students with learning and attention issues, there are some add.

Parents Guide to Transition to College, Career, and Community. This article will increase your knowledge and provide tools to help you prepare for your child’s transition from K-12 education to postsecondary education and life as a young adult.

Workforce Recruitment Program. A joint program from by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense (ODMEO), the WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers with motivated postsecondary students with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
The Road to a College Diploma (pdf)
  From Risk to Opportunity

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Choosing a College That's Right for YOU

video seriesFrom Where I Sit is a powerful video series of eight CSU students with disabilities who share their experiences in the college classroom. They tell their stories by answering five questions:

  1. What is your disability?
  2. What made you decide to come to college?
  3. What is it like in the classroom?
  4. What do you have to do to keep up with the class?
  5. What suggestions can you offer to faculty that will make their classroom more accessible?

Going-to-college ( This new website contains information about living college life with a disability.  It is designed for high school students and provides video clips, activities, and additional resources that can help them get a head start in planning for college. These video clips offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful.

Getting Into College: The College Application Process. This article assists students with disabilities to understand the college admissions process.

Regional Center for College Students with Learning Disabilities. The Regional Center for College Students with Learning Disabilities was established at FDU as one of four regional centers funded by the State of New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to provide services to college students with learning disabilities.

Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities. A listing of colleges in MA (and other states) and additional information from the Concord SpedPAC.

Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (PDF) - Recognizing the challenges faced by students with intellectual disabilities and the benefits of college education, the authors include an overview of the types of options available for students looking to enter college and recommendations for improving access to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. [Debra Hart, Meg Grigal, Caren Sax, Donna Martinez and Madeleine Will. (2006) University of Massachusetts-Boston]

Selecting a College for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Students with LD and/or ADHD have an array of learning strengths and needs as they approach the transition from high school to college. They need to understand their abilities and guide their transition planning by looking at various options. If they select college, it is essential that they investigate postsecondary programs to find the right match.

Choosing a College
If you are reading this, I assume you want to go to college. You must have a number of reasons why (to get a good job, be a teacher; play tennis, be a doctor, meet new people, choose a career, play in the band, etc.). Keep these reasons in mind as you look at colleges. These reasons will help you know what to look for as you read about and visit colleges.

College and College Prep from LD Online
More and more students with learning disabilities are enrolling in college and universities. And more and more higher education institutions are offering support programs for students with LD. Here we’ve assembled information to assist in the planning and selection process, plus lots of advice on creating a successful post-secondary education experience.

Virtual campus tours offer high-school students the chance to see colleges without leaving home. The Web site has video tours of more than 400 four-year institutions in the U.S. Colleges do not provide or pay for the online tours, which are produced by the Web site. "It's not the same as being on the campus, but on the other hand you can't get there sometimes..."

Navigating College Handbook. From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network -An introduction to the college experience from those who’ve been there. The writers and contributors are Autistic adults, and who give you the advice that we wish someone could have given us when we headed off to college. We wish we could sit down and have a chat with each of you, to share our experiences and answer your questions. Free download.

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IDEA Funds for Postsecondary Programs - While Still in High School. USED Secretary DeVos Makes Clear Federal Funds can be Used to Support Dual Enrollment, Postsecondary Options for Students and Youth with Disabilities

Summer Pre-College Programs for Students. HEATH staff members have compiled this list as a resource for students with disabilities who are seeking ways to prepare for college and enhance college performance.

How a Transition Coordinator Plans for Life After High School. The transition from high school to whatever comes next can be stressful for students with special needs and their parents. If you haven’t made contact with a school transition coordinator or specialist yet, don’t wait.

Managing Time and Staying Focused in College with the Help of Assistive Technology. Insight into how combining healthy study habits with technology can help a college student to focus and manage their time. This resource addresses setting goals, developing good study habits, incorporating technology tools, and getting enough sleep at college.

Protecting Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Education. Good advice to assist your child in learning about her civil rights, the two federal laws that provide protection at the postsecondary level, and how to find out about other state and/or local laws that may provide protection.

Providing Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities. The College Board's Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides a broad range of accommodations, such as Braille tests, large print, and extended time, to students on College Board tests who provide documentation of a disability.

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Choosing College Courses
Are you helping a student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder prepare for their freshman year of college?

A Nuts and Bolts Guide to College Success for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
This guide provides information for those deaf and hard of hearing students transitioning into a college environment. It includes information on self-advocacy skills, communication strategies, pre-college timelines, financial aid basics, how to access appropriate accommodations, academic issues, and necessary documentation.

Parents Perspective: Setting Goals and Planning for Transition to College an article from NCLD.

College Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities - This digest was created by ERIC, The Educational Resources Information Center to assist high school personnel, students with learning disabilities, and their parents in planning for a successful college experience for students with learning disabilities.

Exit Exams Can Be Optional If You Plan Ahead. This article provides information about an option for your child if he has completed all the course work and passed all classes, but cannot graduate with a diploma because he cannot pass the state exit exams. The easiest way to eliminate the exit exam obstacle is to apply your child's high school credits to a diploma from a private school. The school is the North Atlantic Regional High School (NARHS), a private high school accredited by the state of Maine.

Success Stories

Autism No Longer an Obstacle for Students Seeking College Degree (Pdf) - Mentors, trained teachers help students to see success. The Detroit Free Press (03/10/08).

Embracing Self-Sufficiency - San Antonio Business Journal (11/12/07).

Students with Disabilities Get an Extra Hand in Transition to College (Pdf) Austin American Stateman (03/06/08).

Campuses Widen the Mainstream - The Boston Globe (12/10/07). Pdf format

Help for When College Years are Not So Carefree (Pdf) - the College Living Experience Program. The Chicago Tribune (08/23/07) about.

Setting Goals and Preparing for the Transition to College - Preparing for the SATs was a big challenge, with the help of his school guidance counselor, Sal applied for testing accommodations for the SAT according to The College Board requirements. Now, college-bound Sal says, "I have proven that I have the ability to overcome challenges. Special education should not be a limitation; it is a jumping point to an endless world of life's lessons."

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Legal Rights & Responsibilities

Q&A Guidance: Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds can be used to support dual enrollment, comprehensive transition and other postsecondary education programs for students and youth with disabilities.

Letter to Parents from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) about changes students with disabilities encounter as they make the transition from high school to postsecondary education. Postsecondary institutions have significantly different responsibilities from those of school districts. This letter provides examples of the unique relationship between postsecondary institutions and students with disabilities.

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education is providing the information in this pamphlet to explain the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing to attend postsecondary schools. This pamphlet also explains the obligations of a postsecondary school to provide academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that the school does not discriminate on the basis of disability.

Accommodations and Modifications for College Students. Do colleges have to provide accommodations for disabled students? Dr. Brown offers advice about dealing with colleges.

The Law After High School - Q & As on important legal topics for students entering college.

College Students and Disability Law - Today, there are more students with disabilities in higher education than ever before. Although the process has been slow, colleges and universities are making their programs more accessible, sometimes in good faith, sometimes due to coercion by federal agencies and courts.

ADA Q & A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education - Many parents of students with disabilities know about rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As students and their families prepare for the transition from high school to postsecondary options, they will often find they are less familiar with protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The following questions reflect those most commonly asked of PACER staff regarding the ADA and postsecondary institutions.

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Loans, Scholarships & Financial Aid

Attending college can be an exciting and enriching experience. It can also be a costly one.

We've created a page of resources to help you find Loans, Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students.

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Khan Academy provides free video tutorials for every math skill addressed by official SAT sample test questions.

Youth with intellectual disabilities have not had many chances to go to college. This is changing as individuals across the country begin to create opportunities for these youth to reap the benefits of postsecondary education. This website will provide information and links to anyone interested in finding out more about the possibilities.

The Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability is committed to promoting equal postsecondary educational opportunity for adolescents and adults with disabilities.

A Smooth Postsecondary Transition: What Parents Can Do. Provides insights into the realities that students with learning disabilities face as they prepare to apply to and attend college. What parents can do to help.

EdRef™ College Search Directory
Free detailed information on thousands of US colleges, universities, and post-secondary trade schools. School info includes admission requirements, degrees & majors, contact info, test scores, student diversity, religious affiliations, athletics, tuition expenses, etc.

College View
This website contains a wealth of information on topics such as: Selecting a Major, Financial Aid 101, SAT/ACT Scores, 5 Tips for Paying for College, What to Expect Upon Arrival, Letters of Recommendation, and Occupational Outlook.

Ohio State TOPS (Transition. Success. Independence.) offers individuals ages 18 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities an unique opportunity to engage in Ohio State academic coursework and work experiences while developing independent living skills and participating in campus and community organizations, social activities, and events..

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EntryPoint! places students with disabilities on STEM tracks. EntryPoint stands as a singularly successful career launching pad in the STEM fields. Other programs such as the federal Workforce Recruitment Program help college students with disabilities enter the workforce, EntryPoint focuses on STEM jobs.

The Guide to Federal Student Aid is a comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. The 2017-18 version of the Guide is now available to download in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF) and Braille.

The Guide to Federal Student Aid (2018-19) (English).

Resources from the Office for Federal Student Aid. Resources are in English, Spanish, and Braille Accessible versions. Order publications.

Preparing for College: The Online Guide for Students with Disabilities. Preparing for college is a challenge. If you have a disability, the process can be more complicated. This online guide offers sound advice about factors to consider when choosing a college, financial aid, understanding your rights, disability organizations, and information about colleges and universities that offer special programs for students with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Education Pamphlet: Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
This document provides information on the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who plan to attend a postsecondary institution. This pamphlet also explains the obligations of postsecondary schools to provide academic adjustments to ensure that they do not discriminate on the basis of disability. Copies can be ordered by calling (877) 4-EDPUBS or on-line ordering at .

Transition to College: Strategic Planning to Ensure Success for Students with Learning Disabilities. Making plans for the future and knowing where you're going allows you to design the steps that will take you to your destination. As a parent, it is important to encourage your child to learn what he or she needs to know about college in order to plan a successful transition. This Parent Advocacy Brief can help you understand the requirements and opportunities included in the law so that you can successfully plan and help your child prepare for his or her future.


College and Continuing Education

Accommodations in Higher Education under the Americans with Disabilities Act: A No-Nonsense Guide for Clinicians, Educators, Administrators, and Lawyers by Michael Gordon and Shelby Keisern

The K&W Guide to Colleges For Students With Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder, 9th Edition (K&W Guide to Colleges for 
Students With Learning Disabilities) (Paperback)

Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD (Peterson's)

College And Career Success For Students With Learning Disabilities

Guide for College Students with ADHD or LD by Kathleen G. Nadeau

Going To College: Expanding Opportunities For People With Disabilities (Paperback) by Elizabeth Evans Getzel and Paul Wehman (Editors)

Succeeding in College With Asperger Syndrome by John Harpur, Maria 
Lawlor, Michael Fitzgerald

Realizing the College Dream With Autism or Asperger Syndrome: A Parent's Guide to Student Success

Financial Aid

Peterson's How to Get Money for College 2018

Peterson's Scholarships, Grants and Prizes 2017

Financial Aid for the Disabled & Their Families, 2012-2014


Life Beyond the Classroom: Transition Strategies for Young People With Disabilities by Paul Wehman

The Transition Handbook: Strategies High School Teachers Use that Work! by Carolyn Hughes and Erik W. Carter

Vocational & Technical Schools--East 8th Edition

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Last revised: 11/25/19

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