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Choosing a Post-Secondary School

October 19, 2021
Adult Life, College, Transition Planning

When applying to a post-secondary school, consider the type of environment that would best support your needs, as well as available services.


  • Identify academic goals, such as careers and areas of interest
  • Choose the type of post-secondary school that best supports your needs and academic goals, e.g. two or four year degree program, trade/vocational school, public or private school
  • Determine your ideal post-secondary school location, e.g. urban or rural, local or in another state/region, commuting from home or living on campus
  • Consider what size school is best for you. Smaller campuses may have fewer support services available than larger campuses. However, smaller campuses may be more intimate and easier to navigate


As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), post-secondary schools and programs must be accessible to students with disabilities. The type of accommodations and available services varies from school to school. Under ADA, you are now eligible for services and must advocate for your needs. This is a shift from high school, where you were entitled to accommodations and services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Thorough research is important to find the right fit. 

  • Contact the school’s office for students with disabilities to see what services are available. 
  • In order to receive services or accommodations, you will need to disclose that you have a disability, and submit written requests for accommodations to the school along with proper documentation, such as the IEP or 504 Plan. However, you are not required to disclose your diagnosis. You can choose to whom you disclose any information. 
  • Prepare a list of questions such as: What documentation does the school require? How many students with disabilities receive services at the school?  What is the school’s policy for supporting students who are struggling academically? Are all required services free or fee-based? Does the school have a health insurance program? If so, does it cover these services?


You should explore and take advantage of all available support services the college offers to assist you in navigating the college experience. These may include:

  • Admissions assistance
  • Financial aid assistance
  • Mentoring and peer network programs
  • Recreation and social programs
  • Dormitory support
  • Course auditing or online coursework
  • Educational support such as peer tutoring
  • Accommodations such as extended time or separate location for test taking, reduced course load, or note-takers

For more information, refer to INCLUDEnyc tip sheet College Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.