Transition to College for Students with Disabilities

For Students

Students with disabilities may experience significant changes during their transition from high school to college. Overall, students in college will be expected to rely on their own self-advocacy skills to obtain accommodations. We thought it might be helpful to outline some differences between high school and college to help prepare students for a smooth transition.

High School

Legal guidance is provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


Legal guidance is provided by the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Act (for housing accommodation requests).

The school is responsible for identifying students with disabilities.


The student must self-identify or disclose their disability.

The school must provide the assessment of disability, classify disability, and involve parents.


The student must provide documentation of their disability to the Office of Accessibility Services.

Teachers will remind students of assignment due dates and provide missed information when the student is absent.


Students are responsible for asking professors for help and for keeping track of their projects, assignments, and test dates.

Services include individually designed instruction, modifications, and accommodations based on the IEP.


Reasonable accommodations may be made to provide equal access and participation.

The parent is expected to advocate for the student.


The student is expected to advocate on their own behalf.

For Parents

Supporting Your Student

It is a priority to our office that your student learns to advocate for themselves and begins to establish their independence while in college. You can support your student by encouraging them to connect with our office and to connect with the other wonderful resources across campus, such as the Tutoring and Writing Center, Student and Family Care, and the Wellness Center.

Seeking Accommodations

Students transitioning into college may be hesitant to contact our office or set up their accommodations for a variety of reasons. If your student is unsure about whether or not they will need or use their accommodations in the college setting, encourage them to schedule a meeting with us so we can talk through their questions or concerns. Ultimately, it is the student's decision about whether they will seek or use their accommodations but it is our goal to put accommodations in place that will allow students the same level of access to the educational experience as their peers.

FERPA and Information Disclosure

We view parents as an important partner in the care and success of our students. Parents are welcome to call our office and to join their student for meetings with permission from their student. Based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), once a student is enrolled in college, the student is the sole guardian of their records. If a student would like us to be able to share information with their parent, they are able to sign a FERPA release through their MyRollins account. Learn more about FERPA by visiting our FERPA Information Page.