Each college or university has different admission requirements. Students are responsible for having identified any area in which they need accommodation and informing the accommodations office at their chosen college or university of their need for accommodation. In some cases, the accommodations office may need more time to gather paperwork or put a plan in place to accommodate a student properly. There may be additional requirements for particular programs of study.
Usually, to qualify for admission to a college, a student must have a high school diploma or its equivalent or be 18 years of age or older and be able to benefit from a program of study at a VCCS college.
Most entering students will be required to take a college placement test to determine whether they are proficient in reading, writing and mathematics.
Students who take classes without intent to complete a certificate, diploma, or degree program are called non-curricular students. These students need to complete an application for admission and fulfill the requirements as outlined by their chosen college. They may be able to take courses which do not require a placement test.
Students needing accommodations must:
self-disclose their disability
provide appropriate documentation regarding the disability
discuss accommodations needed
Talking with someone in the office of accommodations prior to the start of school is a crucial step. Usually, a counselor or accommodations staff member will be able to review documentation and discuss what is needed. As a rule, an IEP or 504 Plan will not be enough documentation to receive accommodations. If you need accommodations to take the placement tests needed for college entrance, please discuss this with the office of accommodations prior to taking the placement test.
Financial aid is important for all students. Knowing financial aid deadlines, paperwork needed, and which programs are eligible for financial aid is a part of attending college and must be completed before college entrance. Some students needing accommodations may be eligible for tuition assistance through another agency such as the Department of Rehabilitative Services or Social Services. Financial assistance might be based on the results of a placement test, and non-curricular students may not be eligible to receive Financial Aid. National Council on Disability provides information on issues surrounding financial aid and disability.
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The Virginia Department of Education's I'm Determined priority project provides materials for teachers, students and parents regarding self determination during the transition process.
Going to College provides vignettes by college students with disabilities. The scenes surround the application process, self disclosure advice and examples of problem solving strategies for students as they make the transition from high school to college.
The HEATH Resource Center Clearinghouse has information for students on educational disability support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, accessing college or university campuses, financial assistance, scholarships, and materials that help students transition into college.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act is legislation focused on expanding college access and preparing minority students for competitive and innovative jobs. To learn more about the Higher Education Opportunity Act, click on the following sites:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) instructs postsecondary institutions "to provide any reasonable accommodation that may be necessary for those people with an identified disability to have equal access to the educational opportunities and services available to non-disabled peers, if requested" (PL 101-336; PL 105-17). The National Council on Disability offers information on post secondary education and issues affecting access to education for people with disabilities.