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Choosing the right college location: How independent are you?

Yesterday, I began this series with a general introduction to how students with learning differences can begin their search for the right college. Today, we are going to focus on location, location, location!

Moving away from home can be challenging for all students regardless of whether or not they have a learning disability.  However, some students with specific learning challenges may experience higher levels of anxiety and may not yet be prepared to live independently. Determining whether location of the college campus should be a priority in selecting a college is dependent on several factors.  Consider the following questions:

  • How independent is your student now?  Does she independently manage her responsibilities or does she need adult guidance?  Does she independently manage things like cooking, doing her laundry and managing her finances?
  • Is the college located in a small town or in a large city?  How will this impact your student’s decision?
  • If your student chooses to live at home, how far of a commute is it to the college of her choice?  Is public transportation available?  Can she access it independently?
  • Does your student want to live with a roommate or does she prefer to live alone?
  • Is your student able to say no to peer pressure?

Your answer to these questions will help you evaluate your student’s level of academic and social independence.  Beyond this, also consider things like accessibility to medical providers, access to transportation, and your student’s ability to maintain relationships with family and friends within a specific mile radius.

Look for the last installment in this series tomorrow.  I’ll review the importance of evaluating career goals and how they play a part in selecting the right college for students with learning differences.

Heather Creech
Expert in College Placement for Students with Learning Differences


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