Applying to college is a big job with many moving pieces. And projects that require multiple steps and deadlines can be difficult for kids with learning and thinking differences to tackle and
break down. Understanding the application process and staying organized can make this job more manageable for both you and your teen. Here are steps to making the college application process a little more organized.
Decide how much you’re going to help.
Figure out in advance how much of the responsibility you’re willing to carry. Having that outlined ahead of time can help make the process constructive, rather than stressful. (If you’re unsure how much to help, see
what an expert recommends.)
Use trusted sources for research.
Consider schools that don’t emphasize testing.
Help your child create a
realistic schedule to manage applications.
Simple apps (like task-sharing apps) and low-tech solutions (like a white board) can help you and your child keep important deadlines front and center.
Encourage work blocks and breaks.
Suggest that your child set aside blocks of time for working on applications or even just reading about colleges he’s interested in. He can
use his phone as a timer or to set an alarm for breaks to pace himself through his to-do list.
Talk about your child disclosing his learning and thinking differences.
Have documentation ready.
If your child has a documented disability, have his documentation ready whether he chooses to tell a college or not. It’s good to have it handy in case he changes his mind or needs it for any reason.
Visit the colleges your child likes best.