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Top 10 tips

  1. Don’t judge a college solely by its Web site or college catalog. Read more »
    It’s very important to visit the college you plan on attending. Walk around campus and even stay overnight. Meet with key contacts in the admissions and financial aid offices and the disability support services office. Or even better, call the college alumni office or disability support services office to talk with graduates of the college or current students with disabilities.
  2. Learn to manage your money. Read more »
    College is a big investment. It’s important to have a savings plan to budget for your college costs and a spending plan so you won’t incur greater costs than you can afford. Be on the lookout for those eager credit card representatives on campus who will try to sign you up for a credit card with the allure of a freebie like a T-shirt. Often those credit cards come with hefty interest rates.
  3. Consider using accommodations for your college admissions tests. Read more »
    Eligible students can get accommodations on college admissions test like the SAT or ACT. Keep in mind that the request for accommodations for the SAT or the ACT often takes an additional six weeks for approval. Work with your guidance counselor to prepare the request for accommodations.
  4. Attend college night at your high school or in your community. Read more »
    Many of the materials and information you need to review will be available at these events. Additionally, you may be able to hear from college students and get tips on how to apply and get in to college. You may also find a college event in your community just for students with disabilities. Going to this type of event is a great way to find out what you need to know about going to college with a disability.
  5. Think about getting a summer or part-time job. Read more »
    This option not only helps you to develop your interests, demonstrate your responsibility and meet potential references, but it also provides a way to start saving for college.
  6. Get organized when researching colleges. Read more »
    There are many factors to consider at each college. Develop a system, whether you use colored folders, notebooks, checklists or electronic files, to assess each college and to adhere to college requirements for application, including important due dates.
  7. If you choose to disclose your disability in your essay for college admission, remember to be brief, positive and focus on your accomplishments. Read more »
    Disclosing your disability is a personal decision to carefully consider. Talk with your guidance counselor or teacher about including this information. Before you submit your essay, remember to proofread it as well as have someone else proofread it.
  8. Make the most of your high school activities. Read more »
    College admission officers not only look at your academic record and SAT or ACT scores, but also your participation in extracurricular activities. Participation in clubs and organizations also allows you to meet other adults, learn new skills and maybe even provide material for a personal college essay!
  9. Learn to manage your time. Read more »
    This skill is invaluable when applying for colleges and can also be used for the rest of your life! There is a lot to do to get into college so it is important to manage all of your “To Dos.” Figure out what works best for you to meet deadlines, such as a big wall calendar, a palm pilot with reminders or a portable planner.
  10. Invite relevant people to your IEP meeting to determine your course, such as an assistive technology specialist and/or a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Read more »
    Charting your course involves many people. A vocational rehabilitation counselor can provide resources to assess your strengths and interests and match them with a major and career. A technology expert may have some academic or performance solutions for you. Practice taking the lead by contacting and communicating with key people who can make a difference.