Visiting and touring colleges can be strenuous and tedious enough on its own, but for students with special needs, it’s important to take the necessary steps to make college tours fit your needs. Doing the legwork up front helps ensure you find a college where you will be happy and successful. Here are our tips for students with special needs when it comes to visiting colleges.
Assess Your Needs
What exactly will help you when you attend college? How hands-on are your needs? It’s important to consult with your high school counselor, special education liaison and college counselor well in advance of your college search so you can be aware of exactly how college will differ from high school and which services or accommodations will be most helpful to you.
All students should plan college tours well in advance, but this is especially true for students who are seeking colleges that will support their needs. Before scheduling a general tour online, make a call to the Office of Disability Services and ask if they allow prospective students the chance to meet with them and learn about their services. Follow their directions for planning a campus tour that includes a stop at the Disabilities office.
When you are touring the campus, whether it is with a large group, or personalized tour guide, it’s okay to ask lots of questions that pertain to your needs. If the tour guide doesn’t have answers to your questions, find someone who does. If you can meet with a teacher or coordinator within the college’s Office of Disabilities, do so. Come prepared with a copy of your 504 or IEP and have questions planned in advance.
Take Your Time
Touring colleges as a student with special needs can require more planning and more time than usual. Rather than trying to visit two colleges on one day, for example, plan to visit one college and spend time getting ALL the information you need.
At Campus Bound, we regularly meet with students with special needs to help them through the college admissions process. Hiring a Campus Bound counselor can ease the worries of parents, and help students understand exactly how their process is unique. Contact us today if we can help you.