Recommended Colleges for students with ADHD

My child has ADHD and started to take medication about 3 months ago. It appears to help with focusing. He is a STEM oriented student. Currently, he is doing well with As and A-s for the first semester of junior year. His course load is more rigorous than an average student in his high school. He works very hard in spite of the challenges associated with his ADHD. In 10th grade, he did not do as well in English and foreign language and got B+ in both classes. It appears that he does not do well in classes that require much memorization or big essay writing. Any recommendations for colleges that may be a good fit for him? Thanks in advance for your input!


I don’t have anything to add, but I am looking forward to reading the responses you get. You could be describing my son, who is also a junior now!

There’s lists out there - maybe some to investigate - I see lots of B student schools on here (the first two lists…not the 3rd). If it’s severe, you certainly want to find the right school, not the biggest name and certainly investigating the resources will be a must.

Best of luck.

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Thank you so much for sharing the lists. I definitely see a few schools that are possible options. One quick question about Northeastern University: I heard it is very good at preparing students for employment right after college based on their coop programs. At this point, my child is into research or potential more advanced study or graduate school. So I am not sure if Northeastern would be a good fit?

I guess we have something in common :slight_smile: It is hard to see them work so much harder than others to overcome the impact of their ADHD. I really hope his brain will further develop soon to give him better executive functioning skills he needs. With this said, he is making progress. I am hopeful.


NEU would have several issues for you - but I don’t believe the co op is one.

  1. It’s super pricey

  2. It’s one of the most difficult schools to get into - and it sounds like your student is not an A student.

Many schools offer co ops but schools more known would be NEU, Drexel and Cincinnati - the latter two being much easier admits I believe. But it also depends on the major - I think for engineering, CS - you can co op from anywhere. My son is at Alabama and they’re publish tons of co-ops.

And even if one wants research - nothing wrong with getting real world experience. And frankly, in prepping for the professional world, work experience matters. And depending on the field of interest, it could also matter for grad school.

If your son doesn’t want to co op, then NEU wouldn’t be for him.

Tell us more about your son.

What does he like - urban, rural, suburban. Large, small. Sports, Greek, Weather, etc.

There’s many a college out there - thousands - and all have successful graduates I mimagine.

thanks for your response! Cost is not an issue. His school does have a good track record with NEU, even for students with Bs. However, I understand NEU is getting more and more popular, hence more and more difficult to get in.

He likes urban campuses, or surburban campuses that are not too far from big cities. I personally like Middlebury, but it would be too rural or too remote for him. In terms of size, he would like medium to large schools. He does not like too hot weather.

Like everyone, you need reaches, targets, and safeties - and when you talk about schools like Midd - the level of work is going to be high - so find the right school, not just the biggest name.

Good luck.

I agree he needs schools at all three tiers.

I did not know Midd has such a big name. The only thing I know is that it is a great liberal art college, but not many people have heard of it.

My older S23 applied to Northeastern, and the application it asked if he was more interested in doing a co-op or pursuing research opportunities. I know that Northeastern is most well known for its co-op program, but that made me think they are trying to expand their reach to students who are interested in other paths as well.

We are actually touring there tomorrow with S23 and S24. I will see what they say about students more interested in research than co-ops & report back. I was previously unaware of their LDP, and now I am even more interested in the school both for S23 (ASD) and S24 (recently identified ADD).

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That would be super helpful! Thank you so much!

I was hoping to help find the right school for him to ED to so he will be done with this daunting process early.

That’s a different discussion - are the elite LACs worth it - and then there’s lots of categories. Different thread, different time :slight_smile:

Certainly! Most people have only heard of the big Ivy plus schools. They’ve never heard of Williams or Amherst, not to mention Midd…

Another question I have is the impact of the two Bs on his transcript. Would these two Bs take him out of the running for schools like Washington University or Emory? Somehow, I think the midsize private colleges might be a better fit for him…

A bit more context: he attends a highly rigorous private high school. It is difficult for kids to get an A in English. So B in english is pretty common in his school.

No - you can have a 4.0 and it’s not a yes at those schools. And you can have less than a 4.0 and it’s not a No.

And if you are saying his school does well at NEU, then I’m guessing you are at a private - and then you talk to the GC - because privates may be on a different scale. Plus, you keep mentioning only elite names.

And again, you’re talking about only elite names - but what about an Elon or Denver or so many others - that will be similar size. I’m not saying they are good for ADHD - but again, schools come in different levels of selectivity.

And it’s about much more than grades - test scores, rigor, ECs, essays, LORs, ability to pay, and more.

Edit - just saw your last note - I assume it was a private :slight_smile: Your GCs would be best to help you when it comes to school selection time. But I think the ADHD is a wildcard - and you want to find someone to help you find the right school, not just the best name school.

A big name is great til you arrive on campus - but then you spend four years day after day. The pedigree doesn’t get you through that - so you need to find that right fit if possible.

Any idea in what he wants to study?


I am not US educated. So I only know a limited number of schools. Like many people, Ive only heard of big named school. LOL

Engineering, physics, possible Econ.

So for engineering and physics, there are hundreds of great schools. And outcomes are likely similar no matter where you go.

My son is at Alabama - you’ve heard of them for football :slight_smile: But they have lots of research opportunities, co ops, and my son did excellent job wise. He turned a higher pedigree school - because he liked the dorm (had his own room).

Physics - also lots of great schools.

If a big public isn’t right for yours, you have schools like WPI and RPI - but they may be intense, etc. I know WPI is project based.

So these are the types of things you’d have to focus on, learn about. There’s even smaller privates like Union in NY - that might be good.

Lots of options…

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I’ve definitely heard of Alabama due to its great football program.

Will look into the other schools you recommended. Thanks for your helpful insight!