Should I disclose my learning disability on my college applications?

Jessie BrumfielJessie Brumfiel
Director of College Counseling
Dunn School
This is a sensitive topic for students who don’t want to hurt their chances of admission, and don’t want to be pinned with a label. The bottom line: the choice is yours to make. Certainly, you should talk honestly with the learning support office at any college to determine if they can provide the resources you need. Many students choose to disclose their learning disability to the admission office in an essay. There, you can explain how you’ve succeeded in the face of a learning challenge. This demonstrates that you have grit and fortitude, and that ultimately your learning difference doesn’t hold you back. You also might take the attitude: if the college isn’t accepting of LD students, you wouldn’t want to enroll there, anyway. However, if you prefer not to reveal your LD to admission offices, that’s perfectly fine. You are under no obligation to do so. One point to keep in mind: just because you’re accepted to a university does not mean you automatically can enroll in its programs for students with learning disabilities. For example, the University of Arizona requires a special application for its SALT program for students with ADHD.

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