6. Update the documentation on your learning disability. Students who want accommodations from their colleges must have documentation confirming the diagnosis that is generally no more than one or two years old, college officials say.
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7. Accentuate the positive. Applicants aren't required to inform colleges of their learning difficulties, and many students keep quiet for fear of hurting their chances of admission. Federal law bans colleges from discriminating based on disability, but it doesn't require colleges to give any special admission breaks to learning disabled students. Many admissions officers, including David Hautenan, associate dean of admissions at Northeastern University in Boston, say, however that students who can explain a bad grade or test score, or who use their application essays to show how they've overcome their challenges and "developed resiliency," improve their chances of admission.
8. Consider extra help. A few colleges, such as Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J., offer extra counseling and tutoring to learning disabled students at no extra charge. But most colleges charge anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000 per semester for extra support for learning disabled students. Grants and scholarships to cover those extra costs are scarce. Some students are able to persuade their state's vocational rehabilitation offices to pay for the extra services, though. Colleges add the extra fees into the student's total cost of attendance so that the students or parents can qualify for larger loans.
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