College

College is for anyone wanting a rewarding career, and that includes students who are handicapped. Students with learning disabilities who have struggled with reading or writing can still get accepted to the colleges they want to attend. This can be accomplished by using careful planning and preparation before their high school graduation.

*Doing well in school

Learning-disabled students need to do well with their assignments and tests from elementary school through high school. As an extra guidance, they can take special education classes that allow them to receive help on any assignments requested. The students can meet with their special education teachers to go over the homework, and then study for tests in a step-by-step basis. In addition, special education classes often let students practice any problems they may have, such as reading comprehension or writing, by using practice books or worksheets in their spare time.

*SAT/ACT

Taking SAT or ACT tests is another important step for the students. However, since they have documented learning disabilities, they can be eligible for additional testing time. Students can begin by taking preliminary standardized tests just to see how the actual tests will be like. They can meet with their high school counselors to get help in signing up for those preliminary tests and arrange special testing hours that will likely be needed. Of course, it’s always a good idea for those students to study.

Then, to sign up for the real SAT or ACT test, students need to fill out registration forms and pay fees to get tickets to the testing sites. They also need to contact the testing companies in advance to let officials know they have documented disabilities and need more time to test. In the meantime, those students can request practice testing books so they can use them to prepare for the tests.

*Visiting colleges

Students with learning disabilities can continue to choose the colleges they want to attend. Foremost, visiting their favorite colleges is a great way to experience what they have to offer. Students need to contact admissions offices to schedule meetings with staff members from the college support services. The staff members will be willing to explain details regarding tutors, personal counselors, and getting additional quiz and exam times.

*Applying for admission

After making a final decision in regard to selecting a college, the students need to apply for admission as soon as possible. They can talk with their teachers about their college plans, and even receive recommendations for the applications. Signing up for financial aid should be done as soon as possible, and if the students want to seek financial assistance toward the upcoming school year, they need to meet the deadlines, which vary by each state in the U.S. High school counselors should be happy to help with students in applying.

*Request accommodation forms

Once they are accepted, the students need to request disability accommodation forms from their previous schools.  Their high schools should especially have some available.  These forms need to describe the students’ disabilities and the staff at college should set up arrangements for them.  In addition, the accommodation forms will be useful for the students to get special test-taking hours and they can have permission to take the tests in rooms where there are no distractions, or they can use special equipment to enhance their needs.

Learning-disabled students wanting to go to college shouldn’t hesitate to receive academic support. Working on basic skills such as reading or writing, meeting with teachers for studying, and getting extra testing time are only a few options those students will need to succeed in school. This takes a lot of practice, but they’ll soon discover it’s worth it.