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Articles / Applying to College / College Options for Daughter with Dyslexia

College Options for Daughter with Dyslexia

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Sept. 11, 2010

Question: If GPA and SAT's are low due to a dyslexia diagnosis late in freshmen year, how do I access an okay college for my child? She is a student with a great work ethic and wonderful social skills etc., but her grades suffered due to test scores (memory based l.d.) Do I call each school before applying and ask if they consider LD students? It all seems based on numbers, but I'd take her in my classroom over some high scoring students!

Many colleges will welcome your daughter and will allow some wiggle-room for her dyslexia when it comes to grades and test scores, if her recommendations attest to the fact that the numbers don't really represent her abilities. Do you think she would be most successful at a college that is specifically for dyslexic students (i.e., Landmark College in Vermont), one that has a special program for dyslexic students, or at any school where she can get the necessary support for her learning disability?


In any case, you'll find that your daughter will have options that are all over the map ... quite literally, that is. For instance, one young woman in my orbit had an excellent experience in the SALT program at The University of Arizona (http://www.salt.arizona.edu/). Another thrived at the far tinier (and colder) New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. (http://www.nec.edu/)

If you haven't already seen it, check out The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities. Here you can read about admission requirements and special services for LD students at a wide range of institutions, as well as some recommendations for parents who will need to advocate for their child as he or she transitions to college.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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