The College Application Process

Applying to college is a huge job!  For students with a disability, it can be even harder.  They might need a lot of support.

School after high school is called postsecondary education.  There are many different kinds, including  2 or 4-year college programs and technical schools.

Here's what you can do:

  • Start to think about it and prepare early — even in 9th grade.

  • Talk to your child about college.  Find out what they want, and help them learn about the options.

  • Learn about the college application process. There are many things you need to do ahead of time, and many things that help a student choose which college they want to attend.

Here are some questions to ask your child:

Image of parent character Paula with her hand on her chin and a thought bubble that says: why do you want to go to college? What do you hope to learn? What job do you want to have after college? Where do you wnat to go to school? In-state, another state or abroad? Will it be helpful to have services set up at the school? (Ex. note-taking help, taped texted books, counseling, etc.)


Here's what the basic college application process includes:

Taking tests like the SAT or ACT (usually in junior year of high school)

  • Sending in high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores (If your child is in Jumpstart and applying to a technical college, they may be using their WorkKeys scores instead.)

  • Collecting letters of recommendation

  • Filling out an application for each college (often online)

  • Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see how much federal aid you may be able to get (Fill out the form here.)

Once you know which colleges your child wants to apply to, start researching their specific requirements.

Go to the college's website or call their admission office to ask questions. Don't forget to ask about disability services to see how your child could get accommodations.