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Going to college?

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Is your student going to college next fall? This is a wonderful, yet scary transition process. In high school parents and students have an IEP team that steers them in the right direction, but that does not happen in college. The child, now young adult is an adult and with the exception of some select situations, parents can’t just call up the college to see if their son or daughter is doing well.

When you start the college search process (and you really should start out even if the young adult has a year of high school left!) there are resources that can help you. “The U.S. Department of Education announced the launch of an online "one-stop shop" aimed at guidance counselors and other advisers, such as staff or volunteers at community-based organizations, who assist students through the process of selecting and financing their higher education. The Financial Aid Toolkit, available at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, consolidates financial aid resources and content into a searchable online database, making it easy for individuals to quickly access the information they need to support their students.” (Youth Resource Connections, Department of Labor, December, 2013).

In addition to the online resources that are available it is suggested that once the student picks the top three colleges that they call the Office of Disability Services (sometimes colleges call it the Office of Diversity) and talk to a counselor there. Ask the counselor what kind of documentation they need in order for the student to get the accommodations they need. You can never start this process too early.

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