Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

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July 26, 2022
Top Colleges for Students With Learning DisabilitiesHow to Know if a College is Good for Students with Learning DisabilitiesFAQs: Colleges for Students With Learning Disabilities

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

What are the best colleges with support and accommodations for students with learning disabilities? Here are some of the top schools for supporting learning differences in the US, and some other pointers on colleges for students with learning disabilities!

In recent years, more is being discovered and understood when it comes to learning disabilities in our students. And it’s a good thing too since over 4 million students live with one or more learning disabilities in the United States alone

With the number of children with learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and more, it’s become even more vital to support these unique needs. There have been considerable strides in access and support for kids with learning disabilities, particularly in primary and secondary school. But is the same true for post-secondary?

We’re happy to say that there are some truly phenomenal colleges for students with learning disabilities across the United States! These schools are not only improving access to higher education, but they’re also pioneering new learning and teaching styles to help students from all backgrounds.

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Top Colleges for Students With Learning Disabilities

As any student applying for colleges can tell you, there’s a lot to factor in when making your choice. Not only do you want to ensure they offer programs you’re interested in, you’ll also want to ensure the school culture, social atmosphere, and professional reputation lines up with your priorities. 

And if there’s a learning disability to consider, it becomes even more vital to be confident in your choice of school. After all, you want to ensure your needs are supported throughout your years of education. So what are the best colleges for students with learning disabilities?

Beacon College – Leesburg, FL

The amazing Beacon College, located in Florida, is at the top of this list. Unlike other schools, which may offer programs and other accommodations in addition to their regular programs, Beacon College is solely intended for students with learning disabilities.

Every part of the learning process at Beacon College is based around supporting the needs of students who need it most! They offer countless benefits to help people with learning disabilities, including:

Another great advantage of Beacon College is the flexibility of its programs. They offer bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, and the accommodating environment helps students thrive and succeed as they pursue their education.

Beacon College is a fantastic option for students who want to ensure they’re well-supported throughout their studies. With that said, the tuition is higher than some other schools – averaging $44,850 per year. Beacon Hill does offer a fair amount of financial aid options, which can be a big help with access for many students.

Adelphi University – Garden City, NY

Though not solely for students with learning disabilities, Adelphi University is a fantastic choice thanks to its many support programs. Two in particular, the Bridges to Adelphi Program and Learning Resources Program, are fantastic offerings for students with learning disabilities.

Bridges to Adelphi is designed to help neurodiverse college students from all backgrounds and situations adjust to the transition to post-secondary. They support people on the autism spectrum, people with non-verbal disorders, auditory processing issues, and other challenges. Benefits of the Bridges to Adelphi Program include:

The Adelphi Learning Resource Program is an older offering. It was created for students with ADHD, language processing disorders, or other learning challenges such as dyslexia in 1979, at a time when learning disabilities were barely understood, let alone accommodated for. The Learning Resource Program offers:

There’s a lot on offer between these programs at Adelphi University for students with learning disabilities. Tuition is comparable to other specialized institutions, coming in at $42,090 for an average year. Adelphi also offers both need and merit-based financial aid, with 72% of first-year students receiving need-based aid in 2019.

Landmark College – Putney, VT

Similar to Beacon College, Landmark College is designed exclusively for neurodiverse students and people with learning disabilities. Whereas other schools offer support services as an optional add-on for students who need them, Landmark prides itself on integrating these principles into the entire college experience.

Every part of Landmark College’s education process centres around those who learn differently, and the results have been amazing for countless people! Students learn to balance their academics, social life, and career, build relationships with friends, create learning strategies, and build the skills they need to thrive.

Not only are Landmark students treated as individuals with their own unique needs by academic support services, Landmark’s faculty considers them in classroom instruction, course curriculum, and more. Landmark College also offers:

Landmark College is one of the best possible options for the utmost support and some of the country’s foremost learning disability research. Tuition is on the higher side (about $76,680), but this is understandable considering the sheer amount of resources on offer.

University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ

As a high-ranking school in the United States and beyond, the University of Arizona has been well-recognized since its founding in 1885. But did you know that it’s also a great college for students with learning disabilities and other challenges?

The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center is a program that supports students with a wide range of learning disabilities. The transition to college can feel scary at the best of times, which is even more true for students with learning differences. 

The SALT Center supports students as they make this crucial transition, working closely with students to help them develop the hard and soft skills they need to thrive in college and beyond. The SALT Center offers several outstanding services, such as:

Although the University of Arizona doesn’t offer entire programs designed for students with learning disabilities, the SALT Center significantly lowers the barrier to access. Having support such as this available can make all the difference for students pursuing higher education despite learning disabilities or other obstacles.

Tuition for Arizona residents is relatively low, at $12,716. Costs are higher for non-residents, with an average tuition of $36,743. Depending on your specific needs for accommodation, this could be well worth it! It is also important to note that financial help is within reach, with almost 90% of students receiving some in their first year.

How to Know if a College is Good for Students with Learning Disabilities

If you deal with dyslexia, ADHD, or one of the many other learning disabilities faced by so many students, it only makes sense to choose a college with accommodations in mind. So how can you tell if a college is good at supporting students who learn differently?

The first thing that might come to mind is academic support. While this is an important part of ensuring you succeed at school, it shouldn’t be the only thing you look for! Here are some other things to consider when applying for colleges with a learning disability:

Specialized programs

Like the SALT Center in Arizona or the Learning Resource Program at Adelphi, many schools offer specialized support for those with learning disabilities. The extent of these services can vary quite a bit, so do your research to see which ones have the support you need.

Degree and course options

Hand-in-hand with academic support is ensuring the schools you’re considering have programs that are a good fit! We learn best when we’re interested in the material, so this is a great way to get set up for success from the outset.

Course requirements 

When you’ve found an interesting program, take a look at the requirements for graduation. What level of English class will you need to complete? How about math or science? Look into this to ensure you’re not surprised by unexpected requirements!

School social life

Do some research on colleges to see if their social atmospheres are right for you! Whether you’re looking for a more active social scene to help make new friends, or something more reserved to allow for better focus, the social environment can make a big difference in your success at school.

Location

For many students with learning disabilities, location is crucial. Proximity to off-campus resources like tutoring and counseling can be essential. Many students also prefer to be close enough to home for semi-regular visits. And for some, the environment is important too – whether they prefer a busy urban atmosphere or a more quiet rural one.

FAQs: Colleges for Students With Learning Disabilities

More questions about applying for colleges with a learning disability? Here’s everything you need to know!

1. Can Students with Learning Disabilities Succeed in College?

Absolutely! Between increased understanding of learning disabilities and commitments from many schools to accommodate the needs of students, success is well within reach. 

Succeeding in college with a learning disability can be challenging, but with the proper accommodations, you’ll have a higher likelihood of success! The more research you do to find a school that can provide the support you need, the more likely you are to thrive.

2. Should I Mention Learning Disabilities in College Applications?

Disclosing a learning disability can help you get into the college of your dreams! We recommend putting information about your learning challenges on your application, including your diagnosis and its impacts on your academic career.

When paired with an application that stands out, listing your academic challenges can help. Not only does mentioning learning disabilities help you find a school with the right support systems, but it also shows that you’re a determined, ambitious person who can overcome obstacles! 

3. How do College Students Deal with Learning Disabilities?

No two students have the same college experience. And for those with learning disabilities, it can look even more different. Many of these students thrive, largely due to school support services, coaching on learning strategies, and a strong social network of loved ones.

4. Is Beacon College Only for Students With Learning Disabilities?

Yes! Beacon College was the first-ever American college to be certified to offer degrees for students with learning disabilities

Beacon College’s dedication to supporting all kinds of learners, combined with its world-class student resources, makes it one of the top schools for students with learning differences in North America . 

5. Are Colleges Required to Offer Support for Learning Disabilities?

Sadly, post-secondary institutions are not mandated to accommodate student learning challenges. That’s why doing your research ahead of time and inquiring about support, among other important factors is so important!

6. Does it Cost More to go to College with a Learning Disability?

Unfortunately, getting support for a learning disability in college can sometimes mean higher fees. As mentioned, schools that are renowned for great learning support tend to have above-average tuition.

And while many schools incorporate accommodations in their regular tuition fees, additional costs may be required for this, such as fees for doctor appointments and documentation. 

Costs associated with learning accommodations can be a barrier for many students, so it’s a good idea to factor in grants, scholarships, and other financial aid options when choosing your college.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that a lot of work goes into choosing a college for students with learning disabilities. And while it can sometimes feel like a challenging decision, remember that it’s all for a good reason.

Today, there’s no reason that students with learning disabilities can’t pursue education, build essential skills, thrive, and succeed in their life. Often, all it takes is a little support as students find their footing and become the people they’re meant to be!

From researching different programs, considering the social environment of a school, to finding great accommodations that will meet your needs, many aspects factor into choosing a college as a student with a learning disability. It’s important to set yourself up for success wherever possible, and choosing the right college is a great way to start!

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