Post Secondary Guide

Admission policies can differ substantially from school to school so students should check with the various university and college websites before the final application date. To obtain information for your post-secondary institution of choice, you can search the Transition Resource Guide.

Transition Resources

Frequently asked questions

Do students with IEPs receive special consideration for admission?

An increasing number of universities (such as Guelph and York) are accepting supplemental applications that may help students with IEPs gain admission with slightly lower marks. There are deadlines to apply for this special consideration so students must check with the applicable university before the application cut-off dates. Most colleges do not give mark considerations for students with IEPs. You should contact the school in order to get the most up-to-date information and policies.

When should students contact the college/university disability support services office?

Students are encouraged to contact the disability support services office of the post-secondary institutions they are considering before applying or accepting an admission offer in order to find the best fit for their needs and learning style. Students making the transition to post-secondary studies have many adjustments to make and can benefit from the information and support that the school can offer.

Are students with IEPs able to access extra time and computers for their admission tests?

Yes - when students receive notification that they must write an admission test, they should contact the post-secondary school's disability support services office in order to access accommodations.

Do students need a recent psycho-educational report for accommodations and support?

Although some post-secondary institutions require recent testing (in the last 5 years), many now offer basic accommodations such as peer tutoring, organizational counselling and extra time for exams even when a student has been receiving accommodations based on an older psycho-educational report or a school-based IEP. The level of support offered is based on a review of each individual's needs.

Is there a course that can help students prepare for the transition?

Most colleges and universities offer a summer course to help students prepare for the transition to post-secondary. The residence is often included and the course is usually free or at a nominal cost. Once school starts there are additional courses, tutoring and counselling services available at no cost for students with IEPs.

Is all information disclosed to the post-secondary school treated confidentially?

All personal student information disclosed to a post-secondary institution is confidential and will not be shared with course instructors and other college/university staff without written permission from the registered student.

What kind of financial assistance is available for students with IEPs?

If students qualify for OSAP, they may also qualify for bursaries which are available for laptops, assistive software, psycho-educational testing, etc. Go to the OSAP website for further information.

Do post-secondary schools offer students with IEPs the same support as in high school?

Accommodations are based on an assessment of individual needs and professional documentation and typically include:

  • Extra time for tests and exams

  • Writing exams in a smaller classroom with fewer distractions

  • Reduced course load for students with learning disabilities

  • Note taking support

  • Access to a computer for spell checking, sequencing, and production of legible results

  • Use of a programmable calculator where appropriate

  • Consideration (no penalty) for spelling or grammar mistakes when spell check was not used

  • A reader to read aloud the test questions and, infrequently, a scribe, to write answers

  • Answering multiple choice questions directly on the exam paper

  • Alternate exam formats (may include the use of assistive technology such as Kurzweil, Dragon Naturally Speaking)

There are often additional services offered such as:

  • Free one on one and/or small group training in time management/organizational skills, textbook reading, essay planning/writing, and studying for tests/test taking techniques

  • Access to an assistive technologist who researches and recommends software for individual student needs, provides individualized training and continued support in the use of assistive technology and offers practical, transferable skill training that will carry over into employment.

Suggested questions to ask post-secondary disability support services personnel:

  • Is there a separate admission process for students with IEPs?

  • What documentation is required? How recent does it have to be?

  • When should prospective or new students contact you?

  • How do you determine which accommodations are available?

  • What type of courses do you offer: summer pre-admission, remedial and/or

  • developmental courses?

  • How do students arrange accommodations such as extra time for exams?

  • How long does a student wait to get in to see a counsellor (a day, a week)?

  • What is the LD counsellor/student ratio?

  • Are there services such as tutoring and organizational support offered free of charge?

  • Is there anything else that is important for me to know about your school?