Transitioning to College with Dyslexia

For students with learning differences, making the transition from high school to college is a team effort that requires proper planning. What can you do to prepare? 

  • Help your child develop self-advocacy skills early on. By ninth and tenth grade it is a good idea to have students participate in IEP meetings. They should work on articulating their learning struggles and explain why their educational accommodations are important. 
  • 2. START EARLY!  If your child plans to take a college entrance exam in October, you’ll need to start applying for accommodations in the summer. In some cases, it can take 7 weeks for accommodations to be approved. Check with the school and official SAT/ ACT websites to learn about the documentation that is required and specific deadlines. 
  • Visit colleges or trade schools to get a feel for the size of the classes. Prioritize schools that will be able to provide support services. 
  • Narrow down the list of schools and start applications. It can be overwhelming for students to gather letters of reference and write admissions essays while keeping up with their normal school work.
  • Don’t forget to help your child develop independent  life skills like doing laundry, making appointments, refilling medications.
  • Plan and schedule carefully, monitor and modify the original plan for accommodations as necessary.  

The International Dyslexia Association states that, ” At the college level, it is the student’s responsibility, rather than the school’s, to initiate the process for services and accommodations, and accommodations are not retroactive. For these reasons, it is wise to secure accommodations well before the first day of class of the freshman year.” Preparing for college can be a stressful and emotional transition. Be sure to communicate with colleges and universities well before the first day of freshmen classes. 

Bottom Line, “With advanced planning and forethought, a capable student with LD can have a positive college experience and a bright future.” – International Dyslexia Association

IDA FACT SHEET: Transition to College: