Colleges Perfect for Special Needs Students

special needs college

As educational institutions work to better understand students’ unique learning abilities, you’ll find more and more colleges with programs for special needs students. Not only have colleges that accept IEP students gotten better at structuring their college programs, but their admissions department has improved their process to recognize potential candidates from different schooling methods.

Like many parents of special needs children, I found homeschooling was the only option in providing an appropriate education for my special needs child. Now that my student is ready for college, it is heartwarming to find many colleges with programs for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders that were homeschooled.

A lot of these institutions offer individualized college programs geared towards the student’s individual needs. In doing so, it allows not only a smoother life in college but a higher career success rate. Explore scholarships for students who have autism to ensure your child’s career success. 


So, can special needs students go to college?


The answer is an absolute yes! Here’s a list of colleges with programs for special needs students.


Colleges For Students With Autism


  • Purdue University Global – this university offers numerous resources for special education students to remove barriers that prevent equal opportunities.
  • Capella University– their special needs college program offers a Flex-Path that allows students to progress through the curriculum at their own speed.
  • Syracuse UniversityThe Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Learning is available for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities, including ASD.
  • University of Alabama UA-ACTS program helps students transition from highschool life to the more independent environment of college. It encourages self-advocacy and the social development to help achieve academic success.
  • George Mason UniversityMason Autism Support Initiative (MASI)- gives support to students on the spectrum through skill-building classes, group activities to develop career-readiness, social and academic skills. It also includes peer mentoring.
  • University of ArizonaUA Autism Collective is not only a research center but also promotes holistic health of their ASD community.
  • University of MichiganStudents with ASD have access to scholarship opportunities, housing accomodations, exam proctors if needed, and academic counseling. There is also a self-advocacy group for those with autism.
  • Grand Valley State UniversitySTART- Statewide Autism Resources and Training provides evidence-based training, technical assistance, and resources to serve students with ASD.
  • Appalachian State University– Autism Speaks U- promotes autism awareness within the community and is also an advocate for those with autism.


Dyslexia Friendly Colleges


  • Landmark College– Various resources available for LD.
  • Eastern Kentucky University– Project SUCCESS-offers a support program for college students with learning disabilities, ADD, and other cognitive differences. Once a student, an individualized program is made for each student.
  • Muskingum University– PLUS program challenges and supports students academically and socially to develop skills to succeed.
  • East Tennessee State University-Learning Support Program has dedicated advisors, faculty and staff to provide students with the support they need to succeed learning essential skills in math, writing, and reading.
  • Beacon College-Educational Support Services which include peer tutors and learning specialists to help guide students with LD’s.
  • Nicholls State UniversityThe Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders
  • Marshall UniversityThe College H.E.L.P. Program is a fee-based service that works with students diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability (S.L.D.) and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D).
  • Mount St. Joseph UniversityProject EXCEL is a comprehensive academic support system for students focused on assisting students with a disability such as a  specific learning disability or ADHD.
  • Schreiner University– their college courses for special needs students offer a Learning Support Services Program for various learning disabilities.
  • Westminster College– The Learning Differences Program provides encouragement and academic support to students diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders.


Joy Capps is a homeschool bookworm residing in the mountains of western North Carolina. The only one who loves books more is her 16-year-old daughter. They both enjoy perusing old bookstores for treasures and sniffing books. Her son who is 18 has special needs, is the social butterfly of the family and has never met a stranger. Although she is originally from South Dakota she now calls North Carolina her home and she and her family love exploring the great outdoors. Her family has been homeschooling since 2005.

July 17, 2018


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