Making the Right Match

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Make a list. In fact make three.

Finding the right college is the same at the beginning for everyone: make three lists.

First, make a list of colleges you like but which may be hard to get into.Very Important. If you think you want to go to Harvard, put Harvard on the list. Many people will say, "You can't get in because of your LD, grades, police record, SAT's etc." Don't believe them. Colleges make exceptions all the time for exceptional people.

Second, make a list of colleges you have a pretty good chance of getting into.

Third, make a list of schools with open enrollment. Don't turn up your nose at colleges who take anyone. At almost all of them, you can find some excellent teachers who, if you take an interest in your work, will take an interest in your success.

Start visiting

Your mother and father will want you to make a list of questions to ask at every college. If this isn't your way, don't do it. Do this instead:

Eat in the dining hall. Hang out in the library check-out area. (Sit in a comfortable chair and pretend to read a magazine.) Walk through a dorm. Have a snack at the snack bar. Why? Because that's the only way you'll know if there are other people like you there. It's that simple. If you look around, and no one looks like you, dresses like you, has fun like you, you'll hate the place. If there are at least a few people like you making it there, you can too.

Make an appointment with someone in the office that provides services to students with learning disabilities

Go early and sit in the reception area. Do the students there look like they're being tortured or being helped. If they look tortured, bad sign. Is the staff friendly, or are they overworked and irritable. Ask yourself, "If I were at this college, would I come here?" If the answer is no, look for another college.

Ask one question at the beginning: "What would I have to do to get good grades at this college?" At the same time, show the interviewer your LD documentation, your grades, and your scores on any standardized tests.

Listen carefully to what you hear. If you'll have to work harder than you think you can or think you want to, think again about applying.

Take your materials back. Ask your interviewer if you should disclose your learning disability and documentation to admissions. The people at LD services are not allowed to reveal your information without your express permission. They will know, however, if disclosing will help or hurt your chances of admission.

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