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Affordable college with few Gen Ed's adhd friendly

SylviaaaaSylviaaaa 2 replies1 threads New Member
Hello, I'm new here so if I'm doing something wrong please let me know.

I have really bad adhd. I had to be in a special Ed class in high school. Trying to focus on difficult classes that I'm not interested/motivated in is extremely stressful or me to the point it takes a huge toll on my mental health and safety. If I am interested in something, I do what's called hyper focus where I literally put all my energy into it. So basically it's 0 or 100 for me.

So I thought I'd be more successful in a school with less Gen Ed's, or an open curriculum. I'm completely fine with major required classes, that makes perfect sense. But also I live by myself, am only 20 yrs old, make well under 30k, no help from parents. I never took sats/act. And like I said for me simple extended time/ isolated test taking is not enough. Do you guys know any schools that would be good for me? Or should I just keep chugging in the job market?
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Replies to: Affordable college with few Gen Ed's adhd friendly

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3674 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Hi--so you would be considered a nontraditional student, probably, because of the gap time you took before college. There's nothing wrong with that and I commend you on taking time to work and to support yourself. Well done!

    Paying for college will be an issue. I know you are independent but unless you're independently wealthy or a relative has set up a 529 fund for your education (or something similar) you will need to fill out the FAFSA and the supplementary forms for colleges. Your parents are required to sign the forms until you're about age 23. At that time you're considered independent.

    FAFSA website has all of the info you need about who is considered independent. Were you homeless as a teen? That can qualify. There are other things. If you're independent then only your income is considered for FA.

    Public colleges with rare exception will have core requirements. Some private colleges have few or none.

    Some private colleges welcome with open arms students who have held jobs or done other gap things because it adds diversity to the class. You will not be penalized for this and it could be a plus.

    Schools with no or few core requirements include:
    - U of Rochester
    - Hamilton College
    - Vassar
    - Hampshire
    - Wesleyan University in CT
    - Sarah Lawrence
    - Brown
    - Amhers
    - Grinnell
    - NYU Gallatin
    - Smith
    - Wake Forest

    There may be others.

    You should also be aware that some schools have special programs for students who start school very late. Yale has the Eli program. Brown has a program. There are others. It's worth googling around for them. Those programs start at abut age 26 and they cost nothing or close to nothing.

    Harvard Extension is a program where you take 3 courses and then request admissin for the degree program. You pay by the class and end up with a Harvard degree. As you're very independent, and as the program may allow you to take courses that you choose, this might suit you very well. https://www.extension.harvard.edu/
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  • snowbirdmomsnowbirdmom 31 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Consider doing some research into non-US schools... my experience as a Canadian (who now lives in the US) was that there weren’t GE/distribution requirements at Canadian universities, just requirements for the major. That may vary based on particular schools and programs. UK universities are even more specialized from what I understand. The US dollar also goes further in Canada (at least right now), and there is information online about how various international schools treat payments sourced from US federal loan programs. If you’re in the northern part of the US, some Canadian schools may not be that far away (this all assumes that borders open up at some point). Anyway, just an idea to consider in case it’s a possibility for you.
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  • happy1happy1 24205 replies2429 threads Super Moderator
    Just as a heads up -- in order to get any accommodations in college you will likely need (at a minimum) formal/written documentation of your disability likely from a licensed health-care provider or other professional qualified to diagnose the disability.. For ADHD that could mean having testing done within three years of when you start school.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83896 replies744 threads Senior Member
    State of residency will affect affordability of state colleges and universities.

    What subjects are you interested in, and what subjects are those you want to avoid having to take for general education requirements?
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 398 replies7 threads Member
    Community college or tech school. Shorter programs, less "fluff" required to gain your degree. Its working awesome for my adhd special ed kid.
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  • SylviaaaaSylviaaaa 2 replies1 threads New Member
    I was diagnosed at age 6. And I currently have a psychiatrist who trees my adhd. I don't think it will be a problem proving it. I don't mind taking a test either as I have before. Thank you though!
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  • SylviaaaaSylviaaaa 2 replies1 threads New Member
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    State of residency will affect affordability of state colleges and universities.

    What subjects are you interested in, and what subjects are those you want to avoid having to take for general education requirements?

    I'd say my interests lie in art and psychology. I'd also love to learn a language or two. There's probably other classes I'd be great in too.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30858 replies198 threads Senior Member
    Unless you have stellar grades from high school, and a stellar SAT or ACT score, it is going to be hard for you to find the kind of financial aid you will need since you are on your own. So your best bet is probably to study at your own local community college, and then transfer later. Most people do that. One advantage of starting at the community college would be that you don't need to start out with any specific major, and you can just take one class at a time that interests you while you continue to work. When you finally do have a clear academic goal, you will be able to take the classes that you don't want to have to take that are required for that degree because you will have yourself focused on that goal.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3674 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Community college to start is a great idea. Be aware that one or two CCs work differently -- if you live in NYC for example one called Guttman will not take students who have completed college courses elsewhere. They want students who are starting college for the first time, because they have a special, supportive program.

    All I'm saying is check your local CC to see how they operate. The vast majority allow you to take one or two classes and then either stop or go on to complete an AA degree, or transfer. You can check out your local CCs and their cost and grad/transfer rates using COLLEGE NAVIGATOR, a government website.
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