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2020 Best Colleges & Universities for Students with Disabilities

A swimmer with a disability is at the edge a pool smiling at a service dog.

 

Going to College With a Disability

According to Merriam Webster, a disability is defined as a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. 

It doesn’t say that a person with a disability can’t excel at post-secondary education, and there are dozens of colleges that agree. What they do need are some accommodations or different approaches to being taught. 

Whether it’s a physical disability, a developmental one, or related to learning, there are programs at a number of great colleges ready to help students with everything from dyslexia to deafness, from ADHD to Autism Spectrum Disorder, from Down Syndrome to depression. 

December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities and we here at Cappex hope this list of colleges and universities will help empower students with disabilities to continue their education! 

Through promoting awareness and self-advocacy, we hope the world becomes more accessible every day!

*Some institutions may have a TBD next to them or a blank space -- check back soon! We're still gathering information and providing an even more thorough list! If you have a question, think an institution should be added, or want us to be aware of something, please send us an email at ContentTeam@cappex.com. 

2020 Best Colleges & Universities for Students with Disabilities

American International College
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities
Cost: Free with paid plans from $975 to $2,775 per semester
The Supportive Learning Services program at American International College provides professional tutoring services to students, as well as assistance with study skills, organization, and time management. Students can also take advantage of the Center for Accessibility Services and Academic Accommodations (CASAA), which provides both academic and physical accommodations. 

Adelphi University
Assistance Type: Learning and Physical Disabilities, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: TBD
At Adelphi University, there are a number of programs for students with disabilities, including a Learning Resource Program for students with ADHD, a Social Training Center for students with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger’s syndrome, and Residential Life and Housing Accommodations, as well as Assistive Technology, for those with disabilities. The Bridges to Adelphi program, which is fee-based and addresses a variety of issues, addresses executive functioning and problem-solving skills. Adelphi is also home to the Autism Task Force. 

Augsburg College
Assistance Type: broad range of disabilities, learning and physical
Cost: Free
The Center for Learning and Accessible Student Services (CLASS) at Augsburg features disability specialists that help determine the needs of each student. They provide alternative testing, alternative format textbooks, assistive technology, housing accommodations, and more to students with ADHD, learning disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, blind/low vision, autism spectrum disorder, chronic illnesses, and more.  

Baylor University
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: Free 
Baylor University’s Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA) process all disability requests and works with faculty and staff on accommodations. They provide a Baylor Disability Shuttle and works with Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities, which offers programs for students with autism spectrum disorder. 

Beacon College
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $40,580
Beacon College is the first in the nation accredited to award bachelor degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities. Featuring small classes with teachers tailoring their teaching to students’ unique needs, along with support services, including life coaching and occupational therapy, students are provided with everything they need for the cost of tuition. 

Bellevue College
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $3,230 plus tuition
Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center offers accessible media and course materials, advocacy services, alternative testing, assistive technology, ASL interpreters, volunteer notetakers, and more. In particular, the DRC pairs with the Center for Career Connections and R.I.S.E. Learning Institute to provide the Neurodiversity Navigators for students with autism spectrum disorder to provide executive functioning assistance, self-advocacy, and multiple support services. 

Centenary University
Assistance Type: Mild Emotional & Learning Disabilities 
Centenary University provides two programs: Project ABLE and STEP Ahead. Project ABLE is designed to bridge students with psychology, learning, or neurological differences from high school to college, while STEP Ahead is for students with a background indicating a need for basic skills remediation, developmental education, or specialized support. 

Curry College
Assistance Type: specific language-based learning disabilities, executive function disorders, and/or ADHD
Cost: Free 
The Program for Advancement of Learning at Curry College is well-developed to handle students with ADHD, learning differences, or executive function issues. On top of providing assistive technology and summer programs, PAL has a Multilingual Students program to serve international students. 

College of Charleston
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities & Mild Developmental Disabilities
Cost: Free, up to $25 for assistive technology
Students at the College of Charleston can take advantage of a variety of assistive technology options either free or at a low cost. 

Daemen College
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $2,000 per semester
The College Autism Transition Support (CATS) program at Daemen College provides weekly life skills coaching, vocational support, and counseling support. 

Dean University 
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities
Cost: $3,500 to $7,200 (changes each year) plus tuition
The Arch Learning Community at Dean College provides individual academic coaching, Arch-designated courses, and specialized success and career advising to students with diagnosed learning disabilities and/or other learning differences. There are also free services available to all students, such as peer tutoring, health services, and assistive devices. 

Defiance College
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $15,740
Defiance College is home to the ASD Affinity program which focuses on three specific areas: academic success, social/personal growth, and residential support. Students have dedicated apartment-style housing with Resident Assistants for support. The college tailors services to each student’s individual needs and conducts evaluations every Spring. 

DePaul University
Assistance Type: Learning disabilities
Cost: Free to paid for special clinician access
The Center for Students with Disabilities handles all accommodations for students, which include things such as adaptive equipment, assistive technology, course selection consultation, priority registration, sign language interpreting, faculty consultations, and more. For more intensive assistance, Learning Specialist Clinician Services are available at a fee through the CSD office. They are designed to assist with executive functioning skills and self-advocacy strategies. 


Eastern Michigan University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $8,200 per year
One of the most expensive programs on the list, the College Supports Program offers one-on-one advising in all aspects of life, including hygiene and nutrition. Annual tuition for Eastern Michigan University is under 10k, so don’t count this college out even if the price sounds high. 

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities; Individual Caretakers
Cost: Both free and for a fee. 
Edinboro University offers the Boro Autism Support Initiative for Success (BASIS) which provides peer mentoring, special accommodations, and professional coaching.

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities
Cost: $44,145
The COMPASS Program is designed for high-functioning students and only accepts 6 students per year. The program is structured, providing weekly therapy, counseling, and academic support both individually and in groups. 

Framingham State University
Assistance Type: Learning disabilities, such as ADHD, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: No specific cost associated. 
The Diverse Scholars Program at Framingham State University gives students intellectual disabilities the opportunity to engage in FSU course, internships, and student life. 

Gallaudet University
Assistance Type: Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Students
Cost: Included in Tuition
Gallaudet University began as a school for deaf children and has led advances in the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students for over 150 years. Today, Gallaudet offers the world’s only Interpretation BA, MA, and PhD program in ASL and is the largest publisher of books about and for the deaf community. 

Hofstra University
Assistance Type: Learning disabilities, as well as ADHD
Cost: one-time fee of $14,600 plus tuition
The Program for Academic Learning Skills (PALS) at Hofstra University has been helping students with learning disabilities and ADD or ADHD for over 30 years. 

Kent State University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $10,012
Kent State University offers three different programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: an Autism Advocates Program, College Success for Students with Asperger’s or Autism, and Partnering for Achievement & Learning Success (PALS). Students are connected with a Learning Specialist they meet with weekly, along with any other necessary accommodations. 

Landmark College
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities & Challenges, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: Tuition
Landmark College caters entirely to students who learn differently. Students receive individualized attention from instructors with classrooms offering a low 6:1 student-teacher ratio. Students are also provided with frequent visits with experiences advisors, executive function coaching, and education technology support. Landmark offers a Bridge Program as well as a number of summer programs, and is home to the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training. 

Lesley University
Assistant Type: Learning & Developmental Disabilities
Cost: About $31,065 for the first year, room, board, tuition, and associated fees included. Price varies for Bridge Programs. 
For 35 years, the Threshold Program at Lesley University has offered a non-degree post-secondary program for young adults with diverse learning, developmental, and intellectual abilities. They also offer a certificate program and bridge programs into the working world. Students live on campus, participate in campus activities, and go through a curriculum focused on career training and independent living. 

Loras College
Assistance Type: Diagnosed Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $31,418
The Autism Resources for Career and Higher Education (ARCH) program at Loras College is a comprehensive 4-year program that includes study sessions and mentoring, as well as a 4-day summer transition period, as well as much more to ease transitions between high school and college, then from college to the workforce. 

Lynn University
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities
Cost: Fees may apply. 
Lynn University’s Institute for Achievement and Learning offers a variety of support services, including a Diagnostic Center for Education Assessment. Students can receive academic coaching, assistive technology, and tutoring. Lynn is also home to the Harold and Mary perper Testing Center, which provides alternate testing environments that include reader, scribe, and computer access for assistance recording answers. 

Manhattanville College
Assistance Type: Learning Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: Fees apply per session (HELP) & undisclosed (PAC) plus tuition
The Higher Education Learning Program (HELP) is a tutoring program specific to students with learning disabilities. For students with autism spectrum disorder and related diagnoses, Manhattanville provides the Pathways and Connections (PAC) Program that includes career development, individual coaching, and peer mentoring. 

Marist College
Assistance Type: Learning & Psychological Disorders & Physical Disabilities
Cost: No fee associated 
Marist College has accepted and accommodated students with learning disabilities since it was founded. Officially creating a program in 1980, Marist’s Learning Support Program promotes independence and advocating for needs. With an enrollment rate of 10% of total students with disabilities and an 80% graduation rate of students with disabilities, the forty years have given Marist experience hard to find elsewhere. 

Marshall University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $4,500 per semester
Established in 2002, The College Program for Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder works through social, communication, academic, leisure, and personal living skills to best assist students. 

Marymount Manhattan College
Assistance Type: Learning, Physical, and Psychological Disabilities
Cost: No extra fees beyond standard tuition. 
The Academic Access Program at Marymount Manhattan College includes basic accommodations, such as extended testing times and note takers, along with 2 hours a week with a learning specialist, an academic coach for executive functioning skill building, personalized academic counseling, priority registration, and monthly parent meetings. 

Mercyhurst University
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: Tuition cost of $34,050 
The Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst University provides early registration for classes, special housing options, and on-site social groups for students on the autism spectrum. The focus is on independent living and self-advocacy. 

Messiah College
Assistance Type: ADHD Coaching
Cost: Free
Students can take advantage of Academic Coaching at Messiah College. Trained coaches talk students through creating schedules and plans, setting goals, managing time, and more. 

Midwestern State University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: TBD

Mitchell College
Assistance Type: Broad group of learning disabilities
Cost: $1260-$3800
The Thames Academy at Mitchell College offers a pre-college transitional experience that trains students in study, writing, and organizational skills, as well as things like money management. 

Missouri State University-Springfield
Assistance Type: Psychological and learning disabilities
Cost: Free

Muskingum University
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities & ADHD
Cost: $2,700-$8,170 per year based on services, plus tuition

The Plus Program comes in three different levels depending on the frequency of specialized services, which include one-on-ones with Professional Learning Consultants, a Focus For Success benchmarking system, executive functioning coaching, a comprehensive learning plan, customized mentor sessions, and more. 

Nicholls State University
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities; emphasis on Dyslexia and related disorders
Cost: TBD

Roosevelt University
Assistance Type: All learning disabilities
Cost: TBD

Rutgers University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $11,619
The Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University offers a wide variety of accommodations, including single rooms with no roommates and upperclassmen studying psychology as peer mentors.  

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Assistance Type: Learning & Physical Disabilities, Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Students

Cost: TBD

Saint Vincent College
Assistance Type: Down Syndrome

Cost: TBD

SUNY Cortland
Assistance Type: Learning, Mobility, and Visual disabilities
Cost: TBD

Texas Tech University
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $10,772
Able to handle students with more intensive needs, the Buckhart Transition Academy at Texas Tech University offers a 3-year program for students on the autism spectrum. Students can take advantage of internships under the watchful eye of a professional job coach. 

Ursuline College
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities and ADHD
Cost: $400-$2,000

Ursuline College provides FOCUS: for Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. The program has the goal of providing a smooth transition from high school into college through one-on-one coaching with disability specialists and teaching self-advocacy skills. 

University of Alabama
Assistance Type: Learning Disability, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $11,580
The University of Alabama’s ASD College Transition and Support Program provides personal training from faculty members, peer mentoring from students, and clinical psychologists for autistic students. 

University of Arizona
Assistance Type: Learning disabilities
Cost: TBD
The University of Arizona is home to a well-known program called the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center, otherwise known as SALT. Students are paired with a strategic learning specialist, have access to tutoring and any necessary psychological services. 

University of California-Irvine
Assistance Type: Physical Disability & Note-taking Services
Cost: No fee

University of Connecticut
Assistance Type: Broad group of disabilities
Cost: $1800-$3600 plus tuition
The Strategic Education for Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (SEAD) at the University of Connecticut is designed to help students by easing the transition through staff connections, as well as with social abilities and skills that can be used on the job market.

University of Denver
Assistance Type: Broad group of disabilities
Cost: $1350 per quarter plus tuition

University of Indianapolis
Assistance Type: Learning Disabilities, including ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $3,500 per semester

The BUILD Program at the University of Indianapolis provides one-on-one scheduled tutoring, walk-in tutoring, a specialized study skills course, general education courses designed for BUILD students, autism social group and activities, private study are, and more. 

University of Iowa
Assistance Type: Learning & Cognitive Disabilities; Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Physical Disabilities
Cost: UI REACH Fees include a $40 application fee and $150 acceptance fee, plus tuition

On top of providing campus transportation for disabilities and assistive devices for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, the University of Iowa is home to the Realizing Education and Career Hopes (UI REACH) program, which is a comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual and learning disabilities. Students take integrated courses and attend both social and sporting events, as well as take internships and do mock interviews to practice. 

University of Montana
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $14,126
The Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism Inclusion on Campus, or MOSSAIC program, at the University of Montana, operates using five core tenets. Students with language and/or speech skills will benefit from speech-language theory, which is bolstered by support from trained professionals as well as classmates. 

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
Assistance Learning: Learning Disabilities & Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cost: TBD

University of the Ozarks 
Assistance Type: All Learning Disabilities, including ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: Not Specified

University of West Florida
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $9,900
Career-centric, the University of South Florida’s autism program at The Learning Academy pairs students with mentors, orchestrates group activities, and helps students find jobs that highlight their strengths. This is not a residential program. 

West Virginia Wesleyan College 
Assistance Type: Learning disabilities, focus on ADHD 
Cost: $800-$2,200 per semester

Western Kentucky University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $10,202
Western Kentucky University is home to the Kelley Autism Program which offers job coaching, tutoring, and individual education plan assistance. 

Western Michigan University
Assistance Type: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cost: $12,174

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