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Advice for calling (or not to call) a school to ask about disabilities ...

Sparkle8Sparkle8 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
Hey All,

Our daughter has an IEP with ADHD/ASD and has a lower GPA and had lower PSAT scores. She is well rounded, involved in leadership activities, volunteering, track (even if she finishes last she tries), gets A/B's in all classes except for Chem and Algebra which she gets C's but not from lack of trying. She excels in art, has an art portfolio, website, has been hired to do a mural, commissioned and in art shows at school. People have suggested before we go to a school that I call to find out if she has a chance of getting in before even going. I know that many MA public chools won't even look at a student with below a 3.0. Has anyone here ever talked to someone in admissions to ask about their disability policy? Her team said there's no reason why she can't go to a four year college and succeed. The high school told the students to handle everything on their own and I'd like to honor that. We'd like to take a tour of a local state school which has the exact major and program she wants. They also have help for ASD and are considered on the top 20 in the nation for that. The scattergrams show she is unlikely to get in though we did talk to someone else recently who got in with a lower GPA. A friend suggested we call the school ahead of touring...do I do this? I would hate for her to get really excited about a school just to find out there's no way she can ever get in. We are definitely looking at art schools but the in state school would be in our budget even if it took her longer. Thanks in advance.

Replies to: Advice for calling (or not to call) a school to ask about disabilities ...

  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 3,298 Senior Member
    Most of the colleges nowadays view applications 'holistically'. Basically this means they take everything into account when making a decision. Your best bet would be to call each college's disability office instead of admissions. They can probably give you a better estimate.
  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    Thank you so much, that really helps!
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    Legally, students with disabilities must meet all criteria for admission. A major goal of the IDEA is preparing students to earn a college degree. Services under the the IDEA cease with high school graduation. Civil Rights and related sections of the DOE explain the difference between IDEA and ADA as well as applications of the law in secondary an higher education. You might have to dig to find the articles but when you find one the others fall into place. Checking the Reading Room section should get you where you want to be quickly. In college,LRE, FAPE, IEPs, diagnosis using state special education, and other services are not provided automatically.

    Instead, look up statistics for students who are recent admits to schools your daughter is applying and compare your daughter's profile with recent admissions. If she doesn't meet overall criteria, she likely won't be admitted and the presence if a disability wont fill the gap. However, if she is missing a particular scolastic requirement and it was not provided at her school, then call and inquire. Students who have good profiles but for XZ that wasnt offered at her school may be admitted and allowed to make up that deficit....a good use of you cc.

    Again disability does not count in admissions. Schools are very careful to separate disability information from the admission determination. Your daughter receives confidentiality about her disability in admissions decisions to protect her from speculation about the impact or her disability or her need for accommodations to defray potential costs. I am confident that admissions won't discuss your daughter's disability because that would end her protections against discrimination. Additionally, if her disability was disclosed and she was not admitted, she would lose legal protections in admissions. Remember everything disclosed can be part of the admission decision. You and your daughter could not sue the school about unfairness in admissions.

    Instead, talk to the director of student disability services to start documentation review. Also, check the ACT and SAT websites to review criteria for documenting disability and obtaining accommodations and service because that will provide insight into disability requirements in college.

    Finally, dont disclose the disability in a essay because you are disclosing disability accidentally.
  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    Thank you so much! Wow! I will have to print this out to remember this. Thanks again.
  • LynnskiLynnski Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    You mentioned that you were in MA, and we are as well. I know that UMass Amherst, while not an art school, has an incredible new Studio Arts building, so they must place a good deal of emphasis on fine arts. Every time I drive by, I wish I could take art classes there right now! If they're not on your list already, you may want to check them out. Admission should not be a stretch for her well-rounded profile.
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 306 Member
    If you look at where kids go from schools such as Carroll, Landmark (HS), Eagle Hill and Forman you will get a good idea of schools that have excellent academic support programs and view applications more holistically. I was just at Forman and they emphasized how they place students where they know they will thrive rather than because of the prestige of the school.
    You mention they have a program for students with ASD. I would definitely call the director of this program and get information. They are often a great resource and may be able to give you insight into if the level of support would be adequate, how they would evaluate her application and what she could do in the next few months to beef it up.
    If her art is her passion, she should definitely highlight that. Also, check to see if the school has an admissions breakdown by major. Some programs are more competitive than others.
  • Sparkle8Sparkle8 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    Lynnski Funny, we have three relatives who go to UMass Amherst...we thought with her lower GPA that it was out of the question...but she does have a great portfolio and they do have an art program with a discipline in Animation...so maybe a visit to family is in order... thanks so much!
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,671 Senior Member
    Depending on where you choose to go, your first visit or inquiry needs to be to the Student Office ability center. You can bring/send a copy of the IEP to the school/s office. They will let you know what services will be provided to your daughter including a note-taker, podcasts of her classes, computer access, extra time on tests, tutors etc.

    Each college should have an Office of Student Ability Success Center. You should be applying with their help.
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