Musings of a Marfan Mom

Preparing for College

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While at conference, I ran a workshop for the teens about preparing for college. The college process is a passion of mine. While an undergrad I interned in my university’s admission office: giving tours, interviewing students, and participating in committees dealing with scholarship and admission. As an alumnus, I have also continued to conduct interviews and participate in college fairs.

Below are the notes I used for my presentation. If you have questions about anything, just ask!

ACT test dates in time for Fall 2013 admission
Sept. 8th (must register by Aug. 17th)
Oct. 27th (must register by Sept. 21st)
December 8th (must register by Nov. 2nd)
SAT/SAT 2 test dates in time for Fall 2013 admission
Oct. 6th (must register by Sept. 7th)
Nov. 3rd (must register by Oct. 4th)
Dec. 1st (must register by Nov. 1st)

You can get accommodations like extended time on the test if you use them at school but you must register early.

Useful “Disability and College” Websites:
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/college.index.htm
http://www.disabilityfriendlycolleges.com/
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html
College Planning Websites:
http://www.petersons.com/
http://www.educationplanner.com/
http://www.princetonreview.com/home7a/
http://www.collegeboard.org/
http://www.collegeview.com/index.jsp
http://www2.globalscholar.com/collegefinder/
http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
http://www.collegeclicktv.com/
http://www.nextstepu.com/
Financial Aide Websites:
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/fin.aid.index.htm
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

Things to do when applying:
– Write about Marfan/RD as your essay topic
– Take a rigorous courseload
– Include information on volunteer activities
– Quality, not quantity: be passionate about something
– Apply for application fee waivers if necessary
– Interview and/or come to campus
– Form a relationship with your admission counselor
– Provide explanation for extenuating circumstances

Things NOT to do when applying:
– List things from middle school
– Embellish your resume
– Lie
– Act entitled
– Downplay yourself
– Quit trying in school after your applications are in
– Anything illegal: schools CAN and WILL drop you

In high school you had a 504 or an IEP; college is covered under the ADA (title 2) or Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504), but relgiously controlled colleges and universities are exempt from ADA title 2. In high school the 504/IEP are under IDEA.

Schools can not ask if you have a disability before you are admitted and they must make accommodations for you within reason so that you aren’t discriminated against, but they do not have to change essential requirements. They can require documentation of a disability, and that documentation is different depending on the institution.

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