College Information for Students with Disabilities


All U.S. colleges and universities receiving federal funds are required to meet the needs of students with disabilities.  Some colleges and universities go above and beyond the minimum requirements.  There are 3 basic levels of support.

Levels of Support

Comprehensive –

·        Offer the most services.

·        Director and/or staff of the program are certified in learning disabilities or related areas.

·        Director is actively involved in the admission decision, and often the criteria for admission may be more flexible.

·        Services are highly structured and include diagnostic and prescriptive planning; advisement; counseling; remediation; tutoring; special courses; and an array of auxiliary aids.

·        Students are involved in developing plans to meet their learning styles.

·        There may be a fee for some of the services.


Coordinated Services –


·        Services are provided by at least one certified learning disability specialist. 

·        Staff is knowledgeable and trained to assist students in developing strategies to meet their needs.

·        Director may or may not be involved in the admission process.

·        Students must voluntarily request accommodations and skills or remedial courses may be required.


Basic Services –


·        Comply with federal mandates, supplying reasonable accommodations.

·        Staff and faculty support students with basic services.

·        Students must request services on a voluntary basis and there may be limitations.

College Visits

            Before applying, it is important to arrange a campus visit.  Call the Admissions Office to schedule a guided tour. 

            Arrange to speak with a representative from the Disability Support Services Office to review your background.

·      Questions to ask.


Colleges with comprehensive programs often have separate admission procedures for learning disabled students and may require documentation at the time of application.  However, if you don’t apply for such a formal program, you will need to decide whether or not to disclose your disability.  By law, colleges may not ask students if they are learning disabled.  If disclosed, the information may not be used to deny admission.  However, colleges are not required to accept all students with learning disabilities, or alter their admission requirements.

There are some advantages to disclosing.  By self-identifying either through a college essay, personal letter or at an interview, gives the Admission Committee insight into your academic performance.


Post secondary schools are required to provide accommodations to students with disabilities; however the college or university will not provide any accommodations until the student:

·        Self-identifies with the Office of Disability Support Services and specifically requests services.

·        Provides current documentation required by the college or university.  Typically the documentation includes testing within a specified time period, and a current IEP.

A student may not receive all accommodations that were provided in high school.  Each school has its own unique system for provided students with appropriate accommodations.

Possible accommodations include:

·        Reduced course load

·        Extended time to complete tests and assignments

·        Extended ime to complete degree requirements

·        A note-taker

·        Books on tape

·        The ability to record classes

Resources Available in the Office

Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or AD/HD, Peterson’s Guides.

K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities, Princeton Review.


Nearby Colleges with Comprehensive Programs:

King's College (Right click to open in a new tab)

Misericordia University - Also read about the Alternative Learners Project. (Right click to open in a new tab)

Nearby Colleges with Coordinated, Comprehensive Support Services:

Muhlenberg College

Bloomsburg University (Right click to open in a new tab)

To search for programs at other colleges you are interested in, open their home page and then type "disability" or "disabilities" in the Search Box. Blank Disability Services Comparison worksheet.