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College and ADHD

The good news is that more and more students with ADHD are attending college in record numbers. In fact, students with hidden disabilities like ADHD are the largest and fastest growing segment of the disabled population on college campuses across the country. For many students with ADHD, college might be a better match than high school was for their interests and learning preferences. Picking your own courses, spending less time in class, having more free time in between classes, meeting new people who don’t know your past and having many extracurricular opportunities can all make college an exciting adventure.

However, the not so good news is that all these same circumstances can also make adjusting to college extremely difficult for those with ADHD. College is dramatically different than high school, with increased academic demands, differences in teaching methods and grading procedures, and less available accommodations and supports. In addition, the sudden expectation to balance classes, social opportunities and being “in charge” of it all can result in students with ADHD experiencing more stress and greater academic difficulty than those without ADHD.

To achieve success at this level, students with ADHD can get a head start if they come to college with the following attitudes and skills:

  • an acceptance and understanding of ADHD and how it uniquely affects them
  • an openness to facing challenges
  • actual experience with many of the planning and daily living skills they will need in college
  • previous practice using resources

Read the following fact sheets and other information to help make college a success:

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