Your Net Wide! Ask Questions!
your net wide when looking at colleges and universities. Look
first at schools based on their geographic location, campus
size, and academic programs. Then look at the disability support
It is important when considering a particular school to talk
to other students with disabilities who attend or have attended
the school and perhaps talk with their parents. The students'
personal experiences will enlighten you about many aspects
of campus life.
to ask questions. There are no "dumb" questions
when you are making a major decision about where you will
spend the next two to four years of your life! Programs and
services provided by individual colleges vary greatly, so
investigate your options carefully.
Do not necessarily limit your search to those colleges that
indicate they have specific services for students with disabilities.
Some small colleges may suit you depending on your needs.
As you research, evaluate, and compare colleges, consider
the following questions:
degree programs does the institution offer? Majors? Minors?
Electives? Are there majors in which you might be interested?
What core courses are required?
For what programs is the college known?
How intense is the academic pressure on students?
kinds of campus activities and organizations does the college
What kinds of events and activities does the local community
Is the campus primarily residential or a "commuter"
are the admission requirements?
Does the institution accept the ACT or SAT - or either?
Do you need accommodations on these tests?
Educastors Testing Service, the SAT publisher and the ACT
Assessment have web sites where you can obtain the requirements
and procedures for requesting accommodations: ETS Disabilities
and Testing at www.ets.org/disability
and ACT Services for Students with Disabilities at www.act.org/aap/disab/
Which diploma types will the institution accept?
What academic units / credits does the college require and
accept? Virginia's graduation requirements are available
Are there courses requirements for admission (e.g. foreign
Does the college accept course substitutions or waive requirements
for persons with disabilities?
Is an interview required?
Are class rank and high school grade point average considered
in admissions decisions?
What letters of recommendation are needed?
Do I need to take any special achievement tests?
Are appropriate academic adjustments in test administration
allowed on the institutions required admission examinations?
What are the admissions deadlines?
is the application fee?
the total number of applicants, how many does the college
What are the average ACT and SAT scores for incoming freshman?
What are the minimal acceptable scores?
is the campus setting? Urban? Suburban? Rural?
How large is the campus? How many buildings? How accessible
is the campus?
Are other colleges nearby?
What are the local cultural and social attractions?
is the tuition?
Is a down payment required? When?
What is the payment schedule?
there any special payment plans?
are the housing options and their costs?
options and costs? Are different plans available?
expenses? Books? Laundry? Transportation? Parking?
faculty or student advisors provide help with course selection
and program planning?
What counseling services and programs are available? Group
counseling? Individual counseling?
/ Class size
is the size of the faculty? Full-time? Part-time? How many
What is the student / faculty ratio?
Do graduate students teach?
What is the average class size?
financial aid programs does the college have?
How many students receive financial aid?
What are the requirements?
Does the college place a student in a job on or off campus?
dormitories available? How many?
Are dormitories co-ed or single sex?
How many students per room or suite?
What conditions are the rooms in? Phone? Computer hook-up?
Are there accessible dorm rooms for those in wheelchairs?
How do you arrange for personal care assistants?
What are campus regulations and restrictions?
the college provide special classes in basic skills, study
habits, time management, and notetaking? Is there a freshman
Does the college provide individual tutoring and/or counseling?
Are these services free? If not, what do these services
Does the college offer academic adjustments and auxiliary
aids and services, such as taped books, word processors,
readers, note takers, transcribers, Braille writers?
What kind of experience and training do the disability service
coordinator and his or her staff have?
Can professors be hand picked and can classes be hand scheduled?
What are the requirements for program completion?
What are the course load requirements to maintain eligibility
for financial aid? Does the college waive these
requirements for students with disabilities?
kinds of athletic facilities are available and accessible
to ALL students?
What intercollegiate sports does the college offer?
What intramural sports are available?
Are athletic scholarships available?
many students? Residents? Commuters? Undergraduates? Graduate
Where do they come from?
Mix of men and women? Ethnic background? Religious background?
How many graduate? How many graduate on time?
public transportation is available? How easy is it to travel
on the campus?
Is ample, accessible parking available on campus? Is it
Can residential students have cars? Bicycles? Motorcycles?
from Virginia's College Guide for Students with Disabilities
Available at http://www.pen.k12.va.us