Here’s a noteworthy fact – one in five U.S. students have a learning disability. This statistic shows that it is vital for colleges to create a space that fosters learning not only for students who do not have a learning disability but also for those who do.
When it comes to students with learning disabilities, 94% of high school students receive assistance. Still, only 17% of those in college do.
Many conditions can result in learning challenges, such as dyslexia or A.D.H.D. For these students, the traditional, and often inflexible, manner of learning may not work.
Think of the presentations, lectures, and endless amounts of reading and notes that school involves! This cookie-cutter approach does not take into account the unique learning styles and difficulties of students.
Here at Gradehacker, we assist non-traditional students in different areas such as coursework or exams. The students we help often do not fit into the rigid box of the “typical college student.” In our years of experience, many of our clients have asked us for advice on which colleges favor students with learning disabilities.
Have you been searching for a college that will suit your learning needs? One in which your learning disability will not feel like a burden? Well, luckily, you’ve stumbled across the right resource for you!
In this article, you will find 10 of the best colleges for students with learning disabilities. The colleges you will read about below are ranked in descending order and offer assistance and resources to ensure you a successful college journey!
Tuition Costs: $42,600 per year
Additional Cost: None
Location: Leesburg, FL
At the top of the list, we have Beacon College! This institution exclusively educates students with learning disabilities. At Beacon college, you receive an individualized study program that is aligned with your unique learning needs.
Let the numbers do the talking; Beacon College has a 70% on-time graduation rate! Still not sold? Well, this on-time graduation rate surpasses the national average of 39.8%.
As a Beacon College student, your lifesaver will be the Center for Student Success. The Center for Student Success offers a quiet environment where students can gather with their learning specialists, meet with peer tutors, and study individually or in groups.
All Beacon students are designated a learning specialist who provides one-to-one academic mentoring. The learning specialist helps students understand how they learn best, develop critical thinking skills, become self-advocates, and recognize when and how to access other support services.
Students also have peer tutors to take advantage of! These peer tutors are nominated by faculty members. They are a helpful resource as they provide individual or group tutoring.
“My Beacon education has helped me in the outside world by teaching me time management skills and how to work with people different from me.” – Jacob Arlington, Beacon Alumni.
Tuition Costs: $73,700 per year
Additional Cost: None
Location: Putney, VT
Landmark College is another institution that has a sole focus on educating students with learning disabilities. They offer several academic support services established to help students who learn differently.
At Landmark College, students receive academic advising. These academic advisors assist with individual student performance. First-year Landmark students meet with their academic advisor weekly. But, as you become more self-independent in the following years, you meet with your advisor less frequently.
Students also have the support of coaches who offer assistance in areas of executive functioning and general life skills.
But the list of noteworthy resources does not stop there! Landmark students can access some other resources: social pragmatic support services, health and counseling services, a pet therapy program, and educational technology.
“My new school [Landmark] not only helped me with reading and writing, but they also taught me several other important time management and organizational strategies. Not until after my first year at Landmark did I realize how much progress I had made.” – Jack Cannon, Landmark Alumni.
Tuition Costs: $24,157.50 per term
Additional Cost: One-time payment of $15,180
Location: Hempstead, NY
Hofstra University has been assisting students with learning disabilities through the Program for Academic Learning Skills (PALS) since 1979.
In this program, every student is assigned an experienced learning specialist. Students meet with their learning specialist weekly in a one-on-one format. These sessions consider the student’s unique educational challenges and help them develop learning strategies, time management, and executive function skills.
Another valuable element of Hofstra University is the reasonable accommodations they implement. These reasonable accommodations are offered free-of-cost and help create a fair environment for students with learning disabilities. The accommodations available include extended time in exams, a smaller testing environment, and note-taking services.
Tuition Costs: $39,820 per year
Additional Cost: $5,090 per semester for the Learning Resource Program, $4,590 per semester for the Bridges to Adelphi
Location: Garden City, NY
Adelphi University assists students with learning disabilities through the Learning Resource Program. This program consists of students participating in individualized sessions with educational and counseling professionals.
Students have the opportunity of attending individual or group academic counseling sessions. Also, academic workshops are available through this program, offering guidance related to your individual learning needs and how to accommodate to college life.
This program also provides an on-site computer lab stocked with programs and equipment helpful to those with language-based disabilities or A.D.H.D. Also, they provide a quiet room that you can take advantage of to study!
Another program Adelphi University offers is Bridge to Adelphi. This program aids neurodiverse students, such as those with autism. It consists of individual, group, and peer mentor services that offer guidance related to academic, social, and vocational success.
Here’s an interesting fact, this university was the first in the nation to introduce a sensory room!
“The L.R. Program at Adelphi University truly made a difference in my life, and I would not be the person I am today without it.” – Jim Rowley, a former Adelphi student.
Tuition Costs: North Carolina residents= $9,018, Out-of-state residents= $36,000
Additional Cost: none
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
The Learning Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill coordinates and provides many resources that help disadvantaged students. The Learning Center specifically assists students with A.D.H.D. or learning disabilities through individual appointments and coaching groups.
Some other services you can find at The Learning Center are peer tutoring, handouts and videos, study groups and boot camps, test prep resources, and workshops. These workshops deal with different subjects, such as time management.
Also, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holds the Burnett Seminars annually. You might be asking yourself, what is this, and why should I care? Well, these seminars are valuable because they feature a keynote speaker who discusses learning differences. The upcoming Burnett Seminar topic is “Thinking Beyond Normal—How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines.”
Tuition Costs: WV residents= $4256 per semester, Non-WV residents= $9,683
Additional Cost: fee-based, but Cost not specified
Location: Huntington, WV
Marshall University assists its students with learning disabilities through the Higher Education for Learning Problems Center (H.E.L.P.). This center has seven divisions: College H.E.L.P., Medical H.E.L.P., Community H.E.L.P., Skills Development, Summer Prep, Diagnostic Services, and an A.C.T. Prep Course.
Students with A.D.H.D. or a learning disability can access coaching from qualified learning specialists regarding study skills, time management, and organization. Also, they provide one-on-one academic tutoring from graduate assistant tutors and testing accommodations.
The H.E.L.P. center also offers diagnostic opportunities where a professional can identify a Specific Learning Disability or attention issues. These professionals can identify the nature of deficits, how they affect learning, and what type of instructional methods will be most helpful for the student.
“The H.E.L.P. Program has helped me successfully graduate with a 3.5 GPA through tutoring and a great support system. Having all the quiet rooms for test-taking helped save my G.P.A.” Morgan C., former Marshall University student.
Tuition Costs: Use this tuition calculator
Additional Cost: $3,100 for lower division students, $1,500 for upper division students.
Tutoring is included in the cost for lower-division students; for upper-division students, tutoring is $25 per hour.
Location: Tucson, AZ.
The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center (SALT) found in the University of Arizona serves students with learning and attention challenges. Through this center, students can access tutors and receive help both in a group setting or one-on-one.
This is not the only assistance available to students! There are also student support specialists who deliver individualized assistance with educational planning, goal setting, time management, organization, and learning strategies.
These student support specialists also guide students in their transition to college and help with communication skills, self-advocacy, and learning.
These meetings with student support specialists also are dedicated to coming up with an Individualized Learning Plan (I.L.P.).
The I.L.P. is comprised of:
- Educational goals.
- Personal aspirations.
- Learning strategies.
- Tutoring, skills workshops, and assistive technology.
Students of the University of Arizona also have valuable technology available such as audio note-taking apps.
Another opportunity provided by the SALT Center is workshops. These workshops are centered on different topics such as learning new skills and academic strategies, improving understanding of learning challenges, and developing learning strategies according to students’ individual learning styles.
“The sense of community and the support I received during my first two years of college. Personally, I was not prepared for college, and therefore, I had a difficult transition my first year. Throughout my first two years of college, a critical time of self-discovery, the SALT Center provided the necessary tools to guide me in the right direction, and the resources to help me excel.” Jason Grey, a former student at The University of Arizona.
Tuition Costs: $24,950.00
Additional Cost: Not specified
Location: Clarksville, AR
At the University of the Ozarks, you will find the Jones Learning Center (J.L.C.), which helps students with learning disabilities, A.D.H.D., or autism. This center provides one-to-one mentor meetings, tutoring, and testing assistance.
Some other resources courtesy of the J.L.C. are note-taking services, testing accommodations, and audio texts. There is also assistive technology software available such as Kurzweil and Dragon Naturally Speaking.
The Living and Learning Community is an extension of the J.L.C., and it focuses on the residential aspect. This branch helps students develop and apply social thinking and independent living skills.
“The J.L.C. is a unique environment of support, challenge, and acceptance. Our dedicated staff provides individualized support, yet encourages each student’s independence and personal growth. Academic support coordinators and program specialists work to provide customized academic and life coaching on a daily basis, and additional academic support is provided by regularly scheduled peer tutors. In order to help students with learning disabilities to truly live a full life, we are dedicated to reaching beyond the classroom to teach skills that will help graduates to obtain meaningful employment after graduation. These, and many more included services, are what makes the Jones Learning Center the best choice for many college students who learn differently.” Dody Pelts, J.L.C. Director.
Tuition Costs: $31,074
Additional Cost: The Mentor Advantage program’s Cost ranges from $800 -$2,200 per semester, depending on the student’s level of need.
Location: Buckhannon, WV
West Virginia Wesleyan College helps students with learning disabilities through their Learning Center. Students are assigned a comprehensive advisor who assists them with: academic advising, preferential preregistration, accommodations for class, development of strategies, and self-advocacy.
Students are also supported by assistive technology, readers, scribes, word processing, and note-takers.
Through the Mentor Advantage Program offered by The Learning Center, students can meet with mentors weekly to organize and carry out coursework preparation. There are also strategic content tutoring sessions available.
Another aspect of this program is the day time and evening check-ins. In these check-ins, students can seek out the professional and organizational support of a tutor. Some of the areas in which these tutors offer guidance are regarding: making to-do lists, advancing on school work, and reviewing for quizzes and tests.
Tuition Costs: $29,700 per year.
Cost: $2000 per semester.
Location: Amherst, NY
Daemen College is part of this list due to its extensive program titled College Autism Transition Support (CATS), which assists students with autism. This program consists of Peer Life Skills Coaches providing weekly coaching to students. These coaches are current upper-division students or recent graduates of Daemen College.
These coaching sessions teach students essential skills such as organization, time management, self-advocacy, problem-solving, stress management, and self-awareness.
These coaches also offer vocational support for students. Students can access help regarding preparing for an interview, effective business communication skills, internship opportunities, creating a resume or cover letter, and job searching.
Important to note, Daemen College students have mental health counseling available to them!
Which College Will Best Suit My Learning Disability and Me?
So now you’re probably wondering what to do with this long list of colleges. While all of the colleges you read about have resources in place for students with learning disabilities, the scale, and type of assistance vary.
It all depends on what you are looking for! Maybe you are not necessarily looking for academic advising but only test accommodations. Perhaps, you appreciate that extra support and want regular meetings with an advisor.
Keep in mind the level and type of assistance you need based on your learning disability. Other factors to consider when weighing out your options are the location and the Cost of assistance.
We hope that this information will help you decide which college is right for you. Hopefully after reading this article, you are aware that there are many colleges out there that provide an environment where students with learning disabilities are included.
Are you considering an online college? Check out our article on Are Online Classes Easier than In-Person Classes?
About to embark on your college journey? Check out our article on 7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2020.
Do you struggle with time management? Read our article on 9 Hacks To Better Manage Your Time.