Starting college is the beginning of a new year of school. It’s is also the beginning of a new chapter in your life.
Many of us move away from home to go to college. We leave our support systems and we meet new people. We make new friends and take up new hobbies. We also learn about different perspectives and ways of seeing the world.
No wonder the idea of beginning college is so exciting!
But it can also be a bit scary. Being apprehensive and anxious is a normal part of the process. But once all those initial feelings wear off and we get used to being in our new environment, another challenge rears its head: staying focused on our work.
Every student knows the struggle of getting up early, paying attention during lectures, and being motivated enough to study. Even if you study online, you still have to be organized and stay on top of your studies, even though you can learn at your own pace.
But if you’re like some high school students that have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, the struggle to stay on track is much more intense. People with ADHD:
- Find it hard to focus
- Have poor time management skills
- Aren’t great at planning
- Can get easily overwhelmed
This might make starting college more stressful. Some people may not even go to college because of their ADHD!
But if you have ADHD, you’re also bright, creative, and energetic. With the right support and financial opportunities, you can thrive in college, just like anybody else.
The first step to succeeding in college is to know yourself and your limits. What do you need to overcome your struggles? What are your strengths?
The second important step to succeeding in college is to choose the right college. Although all colleges are required by law to be accessible to college school students with disabilities, not all offer the same level of support.
What Makes a Good School if You Have ADHD?
In theory, all colleges are open to people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, schools must be accessible to everyone, even if you’re in high school. This includes people with disabilities and people who learn differently.
This is why colleges have Disability Offices that help you throughout college. This service offers guidance as well as practical help. For example, you can get academic accommodations and assistive technologies for your courses..
Colleges usually offer academic accommodations, such as:
- Priority registration
- Note-taking help
- Permission to record
- The option of receiving course material in various formats
- The option of sitting for exams in a separate space, free of distractions
- Extra time on exams
- Reduced course load
Some colleges for ADHD students go the extra mile. These schools ensure that you not only ‘manage’ in college but are also able to reach your full potential.
For example, the best schools for ADHD students may offer a learning program like tutoring. You might also have access to ADHD coaching.
The following list of the best colleges for ADHD students are among the best for helping ADHD students excel.
The Best Schools for Students With ADHD
1. The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is often at the top of rankings for universities suited for people who learn differently. In this case, it’s at the top of our list of the best colleges for students with ADHD.
So, in what ways does U of A help you if you have ADHD?
The school’s Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center (SALT Center) has been around for over 30 years. The center assists students who have a variety of learning differences or disabilities, such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorders.
For a fee, the center offers:
- psychological services
- planning assistance
You can get social and leadership development training as well. You can develop ways to perfect your learning style for success!
If you go to the University of Arizona, you can choose to have regular, individual tutoring. You can also attend workshops that provide support for specific skills and academic strategies, depending on your needs.
The center was recently recognized as a model for higher education for students with learning differences. Many past college school students have lauded its services. As mentioned before, the program comes at a cost. But you can apply for scholarships or financial assistance if you need it.
One more thing about this great university – it has 35,000 students from 112 countries. It also has an awesome campus and a host of fun traditions and events. You’ll have plenty to do to prevent boredom!
2. Landmark College
Landmark College has one of the few programs just for ADHD students. Students with dyslexia and other types of learning disabilities can also find help.
Landmark offers two-year courses in general studies, liberal arts, or business administration. You can decide to move on to a four-year degree elsewhere once your studies are complete.
This accredited college conducts groundbreaking research it on learning disabilities. It’s also recognized for the teaching methods its faculty currently applies. It’s also recognized for the teaching methods its faculty currently applies.
Also, Landmark College has webinars and workshops for educators that want to work in this field.
For students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Landmark features a unique learning environment. Classrooms are spaces where differences get celebrated. Each person’s strengths and learning style are taken into account. You’ll get help in overcoming the challenges associated with ADHD. For example, you’ll have access to assistive technologies as well as training on how to use them.
Classes are small, and the courses are more structured than at other colleges. But that doesn’t mean Landmark is all about studying! Living on campus offers an array of options from sports to community events and outdoor activities.
Best of all, Landmark boasts a Therapy Dog Program. There’s a team of nine dogs ready to interact with you and other students. No wonder it’s one of the best colleges for ADD students!
3. West Virginia University
West Virginia is a great option for ADHD students.
First of all, it’s a good school with a great reputation. The school offers various programs from acting to wood science and everything between. WVU also boasts a specialized program for students with ADHD called MindFit.
MindFit works with you on several different levels. The purpose of the program is to ensure you aren’t left behind and are doing your best.
MindFit offers comprehensive psychoeducational testing to determine your challenges and strengths. Then, you’re paired with one of MindFit’s qualified tutors. They will create a personalized strategy to help you through college. Its Cognitive Enhancement program uses non-pharmacological methods such as cognitive training and neurofeedback, to improve memory, focus, and attention span.
The Academic Enhancement program is another resource for you. It offers academic coaching throughout the semester. You can get help with your educational goals and improve your self-motivation. You can even develop a unique learning style that works for you.
This holistic approach pays attention to academics, life skills, and cognitive improvements. This makes WVU a great option for people with ADHD.
Unfortunately, MindFit is not free. It costs around $1,500 per semester. Yet, you may be eligible for funding. Check with the WV Division of Rehabilitation Services to learn more.
4. Northeastern University
Northeastern University is another great option for students with ADHD.
Students with learning differences can enroll in the Learning Disabilities Program (LDP). All accommodations are already provided by Northeastern’s Disability Resource Center (DRC). But the LDP goes a step further. You can meet with your LDP specialist twice a week for one hour each session.
The content of the meetings depends on the your needs, goals, and course of study. The program focuses on three core areas. These include:
- academic skills
- academic mindset
- fostering self-motivation
So, students learn practical skills such as test-taking strategies, reading, and writing. You’ll also work on planning, organization, and using campus resources. Regular meetings foster a proactive approach that promotes your growth and progress.
The program costs about $2,750 per semester on top of the price of tuition. Apply for the Brian Evans Learning Disabilities Program Assistance Fund to reduce costs.
The fund honors Brian Evans, a student in the LPD program who lost his life in an accident in 2006. His family established the fund to help students overcome their learning differences.
5. Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is in Ashland, Oregon. The town holds the title of one of the best towns in American from Outside Magazine.
This is a public liberal arts college founded in 1872. Southern Oregon University is perfect for students who love the great outdoors. Mt. Ashland, the Rogue River, and Crater Lake National Park are easily accessible. There’s opportunities for hiking, boating, and relaxing in nature. Research shows that being in nature actually reduces the symptoms of ADHD. Having natural wonders on your doorstep is ideal.
The University provides holistic educational experiences to about 6,200 students. Classes are small and you have access to academic and administrative staff.
Students with ADHD are eligible for the University Coaching and Academic Mentoring Program (UCAM). It provides you with individualized counseling and coaching. Specialized coaches meet with you once a week and help you develop and maintain organization. You’ll explore your learning style and get help with planning. You’ll also learn how to focus, improve your motivation, and build self-esteem.
Your academic mentor also works with you in practical ways. They’ll help you stick to deadlines, remind you when you have an exam coming up, and keep on top of your weekly academic life.
6. Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama, is one of the best places to live in the US. It’s not a bad choice if you enroll at Auburn University.
In addition to the pretty scenery and opportunities for outdoor adventures, Auburn is one of the best public schools for education. It also has many sporting opportunities to students. Football is especially big here, thanks to the much-loved Auburn Tigers.
You can take advantage of Auburn University’s SKILL program as a student with ADHD. SKILL stands for Supporting Knowledge, Independence, and Life-long Learning. The semester-long program starts with an interview to assess your challenges, needs, and goals. It ends with preparation for final exams and tests.
During that time, you’ll benefit from weekly academic coaching sessions. These sessions foster accountability and provide structure. You also get support in achieving your personal and academic goals.
If you want to join, you must have the necessary documentation. You also need to pay around $1,200 for the semester. If you’re not sure, take some time to read parent and student testimonials on the program’s web page. There is no doubt that this program is a good one!
7. Mitchell College
Mitchell College is a private school in New London, Connecticut. With under 1,000 students, Mitchell is one of the smallest colleges on our list. It offers a very personalized learning experience!
On your first day at this private school, you’ll get to know your advisor, who will stay with you for four years. They get to know you and understand your needs. They’ll understand what you find challenging, and what helps you thrive.
Mitchell places a lot of importance on letting students with learning disabilities explore their interests and strengths. You’ll choose a core subject and add different concentrations to it.
This makes Mitchell a great option for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder students. But, there’s more!
The Thames Academy is a “pre-college transitional experience” that supports private school students with learning differences. You’ll develop important skills before starting college. If you choose this path, you’ll live on campus and take classes at this private school. This makes facing the following year a lot less daunting.
The program includes tutoring and coaching in study skills and writing. You can get help managing your personal finances and developing organizational skills. The course earns you an impressive 16 transferable college credits. After the year is over, you’re free to continue at Mitchell or to go elsewhere.
8. Appalachian State University
Set amid the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Appalachian State University campus offers lots of wide-open spaces and greenery. Not all public schools can say that! It’s perfect if you love exploring the outdoors.
If you like sports, you can choose from 20 varsity, 20 club, and more than 80 recreational sports teams.
Academically, the university has more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors. It’s known for small classes and using innovative curricula with a focus on personalized mentorship. These services, along with some of the best college majors for ADHD students, makes ASU a great choice.
For students with ADHD, Appalachian State offers a holistic program called As-U-R. It’s an intensive student-support program for students with executive function challenges (EFCs). It’s perfect for students with ADHD.
The focus of the program is on developing and maintaining skills related to:
- starting and completing tasks
- decision making
As-U-R provides a variety of services for students. For example, you can get weekly organizational help, drop-in assistance, and specialized training. You get access to:
- assistive technology
- quiet study rooms
- community events
Want to know what else makes this program an excellent choice? It is 100% free!
9. Curry College
Curry College is a private school in Milton, Massachusetts. The school is known for its excellent Communications Department.
This is a relatively small private school. It offers small classes so you can easily get the support you need. You can get individual advising throughout the semester as well.
Curry’s focus on an experiential learning style means that it has great placement and internship programs. You’re likely to get a lot of hands-on experience while studying at this private school.
Curry fosters an inclusive and welcoming campus community. It’s a safe and accessible environment for students from all countries, backgrounds, and learning abilities.
If you decide to study at Curry, it’s a good idea to apply to its Program for Advancement of Learning Program (PAL). It’s the oldest program of its kind in the US.
This program offers academic assistance to students with:
- language disabilities
- executive function disorders
- and/or ADHD
You can take PAL classes alongside your other classes. They are for credit, which might give you that little bit of motivation to keep up the good work!
10. Adelphi University
Adelphi University is climbing the ranks of well known universities around the US. It’s aiming even higher for the future. The university wants to create “a distinctive environment of intellectual rigor, research, creativity and deep community engagement across [its] areas of focus: Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.”
The school’s focus on small classes is perfect if you have ADHD. The personalized learning is of great benefit.
Adelphi’s average 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio is exceptional. It ensures that you won’t slip through the cracks, as sometimes happens in larger classes.
But that’s not all that makes Adelphi a solid choice for students with ADHD. The school’s Learning Resource Program supports students with learning disabilities or ADHD. Its mission is to provide an inclusive environment for learning.
To access the course, you must have the correct documentation. Once accepted, you’ll have access to academic and personal counseling and academic tutoring. There’s also a selection of assistive technologies from the specialized computer lab.
11. Mount Saint Joseph
Mount Saint Joseph University is a private school located in Cincinnati.
Studying at Mount Saint Joseph is not all about academics. This private school also offers a vibrant student lifestyle. There’s programs that provide fun activities, networking, and relaxing.
If you have ADHD, this private school has an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. This ensures the staff’s focus is on you. They’ll know if you’re falling behind and need help. Small classes also mean that academic staff get to know you personally. They can work with your strengths to help you succeed.
Mount St. Joseph offers the EXCEL Project. This program is for students with disabilities or who learn differently. This private school program fosters academic success. You’ll get help developing your own learning strategies and skills. You can access professional tutoring and academic counseling. You can also use assistive technologies and get executive function support. For example, there’s help developing skills such as:
12. Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is a well known Catholic University. Guided by its Jesuit mission, Saint Louis offers a rigorous education. There are almost 13,000 students. You can choose from more than 14 undergraduate and graduate program. It’s often ranked among the top universities in the country.
But does this make it a good choice for students with ADHD? Fortunately, yes!
Saint Louis is has one of the best ADHD college programs in the US. Its Student Success Coaching Program offers one-on-one coaching. You’ll develop skills for in and out of the classroom such as:
- time management
This program is open to all students who want to improve a wide range of skills. But there’s a program specifically designed for students with ADHD. This program has the same learning outcomes as the standard coaching program. But, the focus is more on strategies for managing executive functioning skills.
For example, you’ll learn strategies for improving:
- working memory
- flexible thinking
You’ll gain relevant academic skills, too.
Your coach works with you to assess your needs. They’ll develop a personalized program and help you with academic accommodations and assistive technology.
13. Limestone University
Limestone University excels in Business or Fine Arts. If you’re interested in these programs, this is the place for you!
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration offers six different business tracks. If you are into fine art, you can choose between several different courses in art, music, theatre, and creative writing. These classes are perfect for the creative ADHD brain!
The school offers an excellent learning program called LEAP, or Learning Enrichment & Achievement Program. LEAP is a fee-based program for students with learning and attention challenges. This is just one reason why it’s one of our picks for top colleges for ADHD students.
LEAP offers a range of services that benefit you. You can take advantage of:
- progress monitoring
- individual consultations
- time management skill-building
- personalized tutoring
- group workshops on writing, studying, and taking exams
This is not a free service. But, in some cases, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation can help with funding.
14. Dean College
Dean College is a private school in Franklin, Massachusetts. It offers a range of bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs within four schools:
- School of the Arts
- School of Business
- Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance
- School of Liberal Arts
Dean’s programs aim to teach you how to think critically. You’ll learn to be a great problem solver and how to succeed in your career of choice. According to student testimonials, the school’s doing a pretty good job.
Dean College is accessible to students with ADHD. You’re eligible for the usual accommodations and services. For example, you can access assistive technology, free tutoring, and academic coaching.
What makes Dean a great choice for ADHD students is its Arch Learning Community.
This is a comprehensive program designed specifically to support students with diagnosed learning disabilities and other learning differences. When you start college at this private school, you can choose to take part in Arch for one or two years. Most students find it helpful to stay for both years. You can even stay in the program for the duration of your studies.
In practical terms, Arch offers a three-day orientation before the beginning of the semester. This includes three hours a week of one-on-one coaching and courses taught by Arch instructors. It’s a wonderful private school experience!
15. University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public research university. It’s the oldest university in the state of Iowa.
The university has 12 colleges. It offers over 200 majors, minors, and certificate programs. There are 5,000 courses for on-campus and online students.
There are more than 32,000 students from 114 countries and all 50 states. So, things are never boring at the University of Iowa! This is one of the best public schools if you like socializing, being challenged, and exploring new frontiers.
What makes the University of Iowa a good option for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Iowa boasts the UI REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) program. It helps students with cognitive and learning disabilities transition into college. The program focuses on:
- student life
- career development
It also offers help with planning, progress monitoring, and access to mock interviews. You can find internships and attend special social and sporting events, too.
16. Marshall University
Marshall University is a public research university in Huntington, West Virginia. If you’re looking for an undergraduate program, you’ve come to the right place! Marshall has exceptional courses. It currently boasts nine undergraduate colleges, so you won’t have a lack of choice.
Do you have ADHD? Marshall University’s Higher Education for Learning Problems (HELP) Center can help. It offers coaching in study skills, time management, and organization from learning specialists. Additionally, you can get one-on-one academic tutoring and testing accommodations. The program meets individual needs. It focuses on using innovative, multi-sensory study techniques and memory improvement strategies.
This is a paid program. There are scholarships and fee-waivers available. To qualify, you must complete at least two semesters at Marshall University. You must also be in good standing with the H.E.L.P. Program and have financial need.
17. Ashford University
Who said students with ADHD can’t learn online?
If you understand the way you function and have your own strategies to study independently, learning online is possible. In fact, it will give you the freedom to work at your own pace.
Ashford University (AU) is an accredited online university in San Diego. It’s one of several great options for ADHD students.
As a student at Ashford, you can choose from various online courses in several fields. This includes:
- business administration
- environmental studies
- information management
The school’s Office of Student Access and Wellness works to foster equal access. The office promotes:
- disability advocacy
- accessible programs
- specific training for faculty and administrative staff
The office works with students with different kinds of learning disabilities. But, it has a lot to offer to ADHD students in particular. You can access coaching, course content in different formats, and accommodations like additional time for tests and assignments.
To access these services, you must provide the necessary documentation based on Best Practices published by the Association on Higher Education and Disability.
18. Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University is a private university in Providence, Rhode Island. It has four different campuses across the US.
In 2017, Johnson & Wales University overhauled its academic structure. It now consists of seven colleges in multiple disciplines. The university is also the largest food-service educator in the world. It’s known for its culinary arts program. Johnson & Wales is a solid choice if you want to learn practical skills for the culinary workforce.
Many of the university’s courses are online and accessible to students with ADHD. The school’s Academic Support Office can help you access resources. This includes assistive technology and alternative formats for textbooks and assignments.
Although this school is not the most affordable, it does offer academic and merit-based scholarships that are renewable for up to four years.
19. Los Angeles Pacific University
California’s most affordable online Christian university is Los Angeles Pacific University. It has many interesting online courses. This includes:
- liberal studies
- supply chain management
Although this is an online college, it prides itself on its human touch. You’ll have a success coach that offers advice, guidance, and encouragement. Wee all need that from time to time!
Los Angeles Pacific University also has an Accessible Education & Resource Office. This office offers all kinds of accommodations for students with various challenges. Staff at the university work with you to assess your needs and determine the support you need.
For example, you can get extended time on assignments and exams. You can also get course material in alternative formats.
To be eligible for these services, you must provide the university with a report that includes evaluation data and a summary of how ADHD affects you. You’ll also need a signed letter from the evaluator. Documentation must be current (preferably within three years).
20. University of Florida
Rounding out our list of ADHD friendly colleges is the University of Florida.
This university is in Gainesville, a vibrant college town that has a lot to offer to students. The school also offers a lot of its courses online. This is good news if you who wish to stay close to your support system and enjoy the flexibility of online learning.
The university’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) works with students on campus and online. Its workers offer advice, coaching, and access to necessary accommodations. It’s a unique feature among public schools.
The DRC collaborates with different departments and university partners. This ensures that all parts of the university work together to remove learning barriers.
The DRC’s services include:
- receiving course materials and textbooks in alternative formats
- access and training to assistive technology
- reduced coursework
- note-taking services
You can also take advantage of mentoring sessions. Your mentor will focus on teaching skills like time management, prioritizing, and self-motivation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Tell Colleges I Have ADHD When I’m Applying?
Some high school students worry that their status hurts their admission chances. Likewise, you might worry you’ll be treated differently during your college career.
The real question is, can colleges refuse to accept you because you have certain learning disabilities?
In short, no. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating against students with learning disabilities or learning challenges.
But, when you’re in high school and applying to colleges, your application could be rejected. Schools don’t have to disclose their reason for rejecting your application, either.
But, ADHD awareness increasing. It’s not likely that a college would reject you because of it. If you want to be sure you’ll be fully welcomed and supported, do your research before applying. Choose a college with a proven track record of working with students with ADHD. This list is a great place to start!
A good school recognizes and understands your ADHD. School officials should be aware of how it affects you. They should also understand that choosing to disclose your ADHD shows a lot of maturity.
Disclosing your ADHD early on also has many practical benefits. It’s easier access to accommodations and get support during registration. As a high school student, you might even register for a specialized orientation. This can help you kick off your college life with confidence.
How can Students With ADHD Do Well in College?
Students with ADHD can excel in high school. The same is true in college.
You are bright, creative, and energetic. These are qualities that help you stand out in an academic setting. However, as a student with ADHD, it’s important to know yourself. You need to understand what your challenges are. You also need to work with your strengths.
As we know, planning and sticking to schedules is pretty difficult for people with ADHD. But you can make it work for you.
Start the day right by creating a daily routine. Make sure you have a clock where you can see it. This helps with time management. Avoid looking at your phone, too. Scrolling through social media or YouTube videos is one way of getting sidetracked.
If you can, work some mindful meditation into your mornings. Research shows that meditation and mindfulness is helpful in managing some ADHD symptoms. It can also help build traits such as focus, planning, and self-control.
Also experiment with different study methods to find something that works for you. For instance, you can try making audio notes to listen to later. You might repeat what you’ve studied out loud using funny, interesting voices (like getting in character if you’re studying literature!). Many people also find it helpful to have a study group or study buddy.
As explained earlier, you can also find support services at the private school or public school of your choice. Support programs help you succeed in college. Start your search early in high school, and you’ll find a great college that fits your needs.
Should I Get ADHD Coaching?
ADHD coaching is a psychosocial intervention. It’s a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It helps you develop specific strategies and behaviors that help in college, work, and personal life. It takes a practical approach to building skills such as:
- time management
- sticking to schedules
- being self-motivated
Getting an ADHD coach for private school or public school is a good idea. You’ll go through a lot of big changes at once and will have to learn many new skills. A good ADHD coach can help you stay calm. They can help you develop higher self-esteem and feel less stressed. A coach can help improve your ability to focus and follow through with projects as well.
However, whether you choose to get a coach is entirely up to you, your goals, and your needs.
Some of the programs on our list offer ADHD coaching for high school students and other incoming freshmen. In case your school doesn’t, you can check out the following for more opportunities:
Which Is the Best College for Students With ADHD?
Awareness of ADHD is much higher than in the past. As a result, schools offer many supports to their ADHD students.
While all colleges are required to be accessible, some go above and beyond to ensure that you have the support to reach your full potential.
Each private school and public school on our list does just that. They offer specialized programs, individual coaching, and tutoring. You’ll find access to assistive technologies and accommodations to help you excel.
The University of Arizona, which is the top school on our list, offers some great programs through its SALT Center. Current and past students rave about it.
But, one person’s perfect college may not be another person’s first choice. Read through this ranking again to see some of the many good colleges out there. Do more research as well. You can search for “best schools for ADHD near me,” and find options that might not be on this list.
Want to learn more about college? Read our rankings for the Top 15 Accredited Schools Offering Online Bachelor Degrees and 30 Top Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs. Our article on How to Get a Free Education is also worth a read!