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Postsecondary Education

Postsecondary education is an exciting opportunity for all youth, including those with disabilities. Going to college today can mean attending a 4-year college or university, a 2-year community college, or a technical institute or trade school. It can mean studying full-time or part-time, or living at school or commuting from home. Learning and earning go hand-in-hand. The more years of schooling your youth completes, the higher his or her income is likely to be. The wide variety of postsecondary educational programs currently available for youth makes exploring options with your son or daughter an exciting process.

Although postsecondary students with disabilities are entitled to certain protections, the process for accessing accommodations is much different than in high school. Youth must take a more active role in knowing their rights and advocating for needed supports. This means they must know about their disability and the accommodations they need to be successful. Families play an important role in helping their young adults learn self-advocacy skills, as well as their rights as a person with a disability.

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Post-Secondary Education Links

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PACER Resources

Financial Aid

  • College Affordability and Transparency Center
    This new US Department of Education Web site helps students and their families determine which colleges have the highest and lowest tuition, how much career and vocational education programs cost, and how fast college costs going up. 
  • College Funding for Students with Disabilities
    Fact sheet from the University of Washington's DO-IT program
  • Disability.Gov’s Guide to Student Financial Aid
    Provides a list of resources with information on federal, state and local scholarships and loans for students with disabilities.
  • Funding Your Education
    Section of Minnesota's Disability 101: web site providing information to Minnesota youth with disabilities and their families looking at a variety of ways to pay for postsecondary education.
  • Student
    A U.S. Department of Education web site that can provide students with an early estimate of their eligibility for federal student financial assistance and reduce the amount of time it will take to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the qualifying form for all federal student financial aid.

Civil Rights and Academic Accomodations

Best Practices: Making the Most of the College Experience

College Preperation Checklist

This Checklist from the U.S. Department of Education was developed to help students and parents get ready for college. It includes:

Young woman in graduation cap and gown, holding up her college degree

ADA, Section 504 & Postsecondary Education >>>