There is no single ‘best’ college for dyslexia, but rather colleges that may make better (or worse) fits for an individual student. Do you have personal experience with a college as a dyslexic student? If so, please take this brief survey and we’ll share the results here. You can also send your reviews of colleges by email. All sources will be confidential on this site.
We are compiling resources from people we have spoken to, web, and text-based resources that included interviews of dyslexic students who attended college. Books we recommend include Dyslexia at College, The Human Side of Dyslexia, and Colleges That Change Lives.
College-Bound Students: Once you are enrolled in college, don’t forget to apply here for the Dyslexic Advantage Karina Eide Memorial Scholarship! Only dyslexic students are eligible and there is no minimum GPA!
Here is the start of a very partial list. We will be adding more specific information as it comes in. Latest update: 4/20/17
Auburn University – Center for Special Services
“I owe a lot to the Center for Special Services…my professors were supportive.” Books on tape, reader, Dragon dictation, note taker, extended time.
University of Arizona – SALT CENTER – Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center
University of the Ozarks – Jones Learning Center
“My coordinator and tutor were my lifeline..”
Taped textbooks, help in math, reading, writing, copies of lecture notes, private test taking.
Dictated papers to tutor. Helped with flashcards
Butte College – Disabled Student Programs
3 /10 STARS
BEST: Free learning support services. Many trade school options that do not require English 101 or algebra.
WORST: Difficult process for asking for accommodations, teachers resist providing accommodations, audio resources are late or difficult to acquire, no visible dyslexia programs on campus.
TIPS: Don’t go. Keep looking. It’s not worth the aggravation to fight for accommodations and understanding
Chico State University – Accessibility Resource Center
8/10 STARS (Mathematics)
BEST: Good system to ask for accommodations, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, faculty are accessible and supportive.
WORST: Teachers resist providing accommodations. I had more than two teachers try to deny me accommodations.
TIPS: Know your rights!
Pitzer College – Academic Support Services
“Mine was the last year without a math requirement.” Didn’t use the Learning Center on a regular basis. If poor grades, spoke to professor or went to the learning center. After failing statistics 2x, successfully petitioned to have a statistics waiver to graduate.
Stanford University- Schwab Learning Center – There have been recent upheavals in the Schwab Learning Center due to department changes. We will update you if we have any new information from current students.
Monterey Institute of International Studies
“I took all my papers to the Writing Center to be edited. My writing improved.” Tape recorder, oral testing, skimming reading, visual presentations.
University of California – Berkeley – Disabled Students’ Program
Berkeley Extension: Occasionally I’d get a bad teacher who said they didn’t believe in accommodations like extra time, but the DSP backed me up and I was ever prevented from getting what I needed.
University of Santa Cruz Disability Resource Center
Once I tell teachers, they’re understanding. Note taking, tape recorder, assistance with writing, and computer for personal use. Dyslexia support group (newsletter and events)
University of the Pacific – Services for Students with Disabilities Stockton, CA
1/10 STARS (Music Major)
BEST: Good test-taking accommodations
WORST: Negative culture for learning differences.
“I would pick a different college, the culture is not conducive for visual or alternate learners”
University of Toronto – Accessibility Services
1/10 STARS (Arts & Sciences)
WORST: Difficult process for asking for accommodations, teachers resist providing accommodations, audio resources are late or difficult to acquire, hard to obtain regular test-taking accommodations, no visible dyslexia programs on campus, negative culture for learning differences.
ADVICE: “Accessibility is a horror show for dyslexics. Worse than awful exam accommodations and rules; zero differentiation for learners with different learning styles; less than ZERO support for students who are gifted but do not read and write in normative ways; horrible communication with students’ one hour per week drop in hours for services; even the equity studies and women’s studies profs who should know better are s— on access issues; 6 week wait MINIMUM for assistive tech in start of program – most crucial time to have supports; OVERLOAD with assessment and no action on accomodation as if assessment itself is the job of accessilbity services; punitive behavior of disability counsellors when students miss a deadline; refusal of exam accommodations even if prof is late with posting exam schedule; scribes known to students (totally inappropriate); scribes switching off half way through test or exam; scribe demanding student indicate punctuation or would not scribe (totally different part of the brain); university uses volunteer notetakers even though the ministry of education provides funding to pay them; if no notetakers volunteer to take notes the student goes without; notetakers can hand write notes which can’t be read by text to speech software; there is no library of audio or pdf’d textbooks or readers so each student needs to have materials scanned each time fresh and WAIT up to six weeks putting them at a distinct disadvantage. Open book exams are not accessible to students who do not read and write in normative ways; cheat sheets for exams are not accessible for students who do not read and write in normative ways and yet are marked. It is basically a s— show unless you fit a tiny, narrow definition of what is disabled. The lack of imagination is ASTOUNDING at the #1 university in Canada. Worse than useless.
ADVICE: DO NOT DO IT.
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
“Didn’t need accommodations for all my classes because this is art school. The disability person was friendly and helpful. The typography class had assignments with hand-drawn fonts, but I have fine motor issues and a little tremor. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was helpful that she contacted the teacher separately.”
University of Connecticut – Center for Students with Disabilities
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University- Disability Support
10/10 STARS (Aerospace Engineering)
BEST: Good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly environment, helpful office, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive.
Students with accommodations get priority for registering for classes. Good counselling services available if you are stressed, with a therapy dog on duty in the counselling center. Students with accommodations get free tutoring if needed.”
TIPS: The professors are very helpful, so take advantage of their office hours to get extra help from them if you need it.
Florida Southern College – Student Disability Services
10/10 STARS (Elementary Education)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive. “FSC has an elementary school on campus (Roberts Academy) for dyslexic students grades 2-6 (adding 7 and 8 in the next two school years). It’s an Orton-Gillingham school!. All pre-service teachers spend a considerable amount of time in the classrooms at Roberts getting full exposure to dyslexia, what it is, what it isn’t, what works, what doesn’t work etc. Every subject is taught in a multi-sensory way. All teachers at Roberts have their Masters degrees and are level II OG trained. Pre-Service teachers at FSC also have the opportunity to take Orton-Gillingham classes that the college offers. They bring in an instructor from OG to teach the course. The first half of the course takes place during the first semester, the second half during the second semester. My DD has had many lightbulb moments at both Robert’s Academy and during the OG courses that she has taken. She wonders why these methods are not taught across the board in all schools. It just makes so much sense to her. (She never received any OG reading intervention during her K-12 education)”
TIPS: 1. Visit the campus you are considering 2. Sit in on some classes in the course work of the degree you are considering pursuing 3. Talk to current students in those classes/degree with known learning disabilities about the course work, professors, and learning services support and get a feel for how well the learning institute supports LD students.
Full Sail University – Services for Students with Disabilities
1/10 STARS (Masters, Instructional Design)
WORST: No visible dyslexia program on campus. In many ways the FSU program was very engaging. However, this program is one class in four weeks for 12 months. The pace is very fast for digesting content. For an adult training program, the program ignored how to train adults with learning disabilities. Considering the writing component of the courses feedback from professors was typically relevant, but a large percent of grades relied on peer reflection/feedback. Often peers posted sloppy discussion posts that were difficult to give feedback on. Additionally, reflection posts included responding to peers projects. Often peers rushed through the reflection and didn’t provide constructive feedback; yet this was an important component for the course grade. I’m a 45 year old mother of a 4 and 12 year old and was a high school history teacher for 14 years. The writing process tends to be slow for me and trying to respond to posts was challenging at times. After 6 months into the program I was drained as a writer and my head was mush. Exhaustion and stress lead to anxiety and that downward spiral Dyslexics can struggle with.
TIPS: Take breaks every couple of months especially if you have other obligations like family or employment. Tell every professor you have you’re dyslexic and speak to your strengths and weaknesses as a student. I’m not sure if that will make a difference for some professors, but Dyslexics need to start educating those in academic positions. Even though I was considered a Highly Qualified Teacher, I taught for 14 years before I realized I’m dyslexic. The majority of educators need to be educated on teaching dyslexics.
University of Miami – Office of Disability Services
Alumni (attended in the late 60’s): An international university with vast diversity, where high academic standards are expected but individuality is paramount
Idaho State University – Disability Services
9/10 STARS (Journalism & Sports Management)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, helpful office, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive. “The disability services office blew our socks off with how helpful they were. More than just complying with the law, they go above and beyond including 1:1 help with TTS software, offers of free use of technology just to try it out, help with role playing with professors, frequent contact in the summer before freshman year to build relationships, and a “got your back” attitude. This office is why we chose this university. To sweeten the pot, it is very inexpensive for both tuition and housing and is located in a beautiful spot close to the Tetons.”
Iowa State University – Student Disability Resources
9/10 STARS (Elementary Education)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, faculty are accessible and supportive
WORST: The only problem I had was with one adviser in the school of education not understanding what dyslexia is.
TIPS: “Look for a school that is going to work with you. When you go on college visits go to the disability office and see what the atmosphere is and what accommodation they have.”
Indiana State University – Center for Student Success Free tutoring, mentoring, advising. Works with Disability Student Services.
“Indiana had a strong LD program…Help was always there in college.” Personal tutor after sports practice. Extra time on tests, tape recorder for lectures, preparation tests to study before a test, and a reader who was a grad student who also paraphrased to check for understanding
Nicolls State University – Student Access Center
10/10 STARS (History)
BEST: Good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, good offices, faculty accessible and supportive
Boston University – Disability Services
“I surrounded myself with classmates who were willing to help explain the questions…sadly there are many ‘old style’ professors who don’t believe in learning difference.”
Calvin College – Center for Student Success
10/10 STARS (Social Work)
BEST: Free learning support services, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive
TIPS: “Go see SAS and they will match you with an advisor specifically for your Dyslexia.”
Curry College – Disability Services
1/10 STARS: (Environmental Sciences, but they discontinued the major)
BEST: Good system to ask for accommodations, good accessibility – audio available in a timely fashion, helpful office, small classes.
WORST: No learning support or only expensive learning support, no visible dyslexia programs on campus. We paid for my disability services….an extra $10,000 per year…is this legal? But while they were nice, it was just a glorified place to get organized. This was supposed to be a school at the top of disability services…but they were not. I got all my help and tutoring from the free resources available to all kids.
TIPS: Just look for good services….all colleges have them these days so you don’t have to pay extra.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Student Disability Services
“I’ve known at least a dozen MIT grads who have been out for some years now. They all have said that MIT was a good school for dyslexics.”
Williams College – Disability Support Services
University of Michigan -Services for Students with Disabilities
“The Center for Student with Disabilities gave me lots of ideas including asking for extended time on tests and testing in a quiet room without distractions.” Taping lectures, reduced course load.
University of Minnesota Disability Resources Center
9/10 STARS (Plant Science & Food Systems)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly environment, helpful office, faculty are accessible and supportive
WORST: Audio resources are late or difficult to acquire
ADVICE: “The U of M is a wonderful school for dyslexic students. This university is very supportive of students with dyslexia and many of the professors understand what it is and that students are not “faking it”.
Marymount Manhattan College – Disability Services
1/10 STARS (Fashion Design)
WORST:Only expensive learning support program, difficult process for asking for accommodations, teachers resit providing accommodations, audio resources are late or difficult to acquire, hard to obtain regular test-taking accommodations, no visible dyslexia programs on campus, negative culture for learning differences.
TIPS: “Observe or talk to Learning Specialist. Ask them if they use any form of UDL or assistive technology.”
State University at Buffalo – Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
7/10 STARS (Dance and Business)
BEST: Free learning support services, good system to ask for accommodations, good test-taking accommodations, faculty are accessible and supportive.
WORST: Audio resources are late or difficult to acquire.
PDF files for textbooks, need to send in information in at the end of the prior semester to receive accommodations for the next semester in order to get books in a timely manner. Even after doing so don’t receive books during the first week of classes. Only receive PDF files after sending a reminder and often a week or two into the semester, four weeks at the latest. Once receive files, accommodations are very good and work well. Have had a problem with text center and professor not sending tests in on time. Make sure to have verbal or written confirmation that you can take exams early if original exam time is when the test center is closed.
TIPS: Don’t be afraid to send reminders and/or have meetings to get the accommodations you need. If youre confused ask, because won’t always be very direct in how to do things. Know the hours of the test center when making exam requests and be as specific as possible.
Syracuse University Office of Disability Services
“The Learning Center has improved, but sometimes I don’t get the tapes until the week before the test.” Most professors are supportive. Some have made special exams for me. Extended time, reader for exams books on tape, taped lectures, tutoring, note taker, computer for exams, typed written assignments. Counselor. Consultant helps with writing.
Guilford College – Accessibility Resource Center
10/10 STARS (Psychology, alumni 15+ years ago)
BEST: good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive. Everything about the program was good.
TIPS: Get help as soon as you get there Be sure you have been tested and identified before you go.
Muskingum University – Disability Education Office
9/10 STARS (Special Education & History – Alumni graduated 7 yrs ago)
BEST: Good system to ask for accommodations, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive. Content tutors, not peer tutors.
WORST: There was a large cost for the most comprehensive service but there were different levels.
TIPS: Make sure you are studying.
Southern Oregon University – Disability Resources
10/10 STARS (Technical Theatre)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive “The UCam program is great. Doesn’t cost too much, and I get a weekly appointment with a learning coach. Much of what I need is done automatically (I get an email reminder, but accommodations are super easy to access). It’s also a public school, so very affordable.”
University of Oregon Accessible Education Center
1/10 STARS (Architecture major)
WORST: Difficult process for asking for accommodations, teachers resist accommodations, Audio resources are late or difficult to acquire, negative culture for learning differences.
Reduced course load – one class at a time worked for me.
Approached professors independently, not involving Student Services. Extended time on tests. Test taking in their office. Essays instead of multiple choice. Project-related exams. Computer courses substituted for math and language requirements. Test files at my fraternity were very helpful.
Millersville University Office of Learning Services
8/10 STARS (Music Major)
BEST: Are learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive, preferential housing based on student request.
WORST: No visible dyslexia programs on campus
TIPS: “Speak openly to your counselors and the Student Service Center support staff and they are happy to help.”
University of Pittsburgh Disability Resources
100% extended time on exams, word processor for tests, audio record lectures.
Brown University Learning Support Specialist
“It’s possible to graduate Brown with no distribution requirements. There’s also a credit / no credit grading option…”
“I look for courses that do project work instead of tests.”
“I’m glad I spoke to the Dean of Students who helps LD students.” Headphones in computer center.
Roger Williams University – Student Accessibility Services
9/10 STARS (Mechanical Engineering)
BEST: Free learning support services, good system to ask for accommodations, good test taking accommodations, helpful office, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive
WORST: No visible dyslexia programs on campus
TIPS: “Be willing to work hard. Be prepared to be your own advocate. Be respectful when seeking accommodations from professors. Become proficient in technology.”
Umea University Disability
9/10 STARS (Human Computer Interaction)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, faculty are accessible and supportive. It was a huge list for leaning disabilities and other disabilities that they gave me to see and the responsible person helped me to choose
WORST: The facilities e.g. computers for text to speech and speech to text etc were only in Swedish. Probably they can make an English version for the international students.
TIPS: Go for it and do not hesitate to discuss your disability and ask for help
Southern Methodist University – Altschuler Learning Enhancement Center
“Thankfully someone awarded me a mentor…” Talked about book or paper – my mentor helped organize my thoughts. No foreign language requirement.
Texas A & M Office of Academic Enhancement
10/10 STARS (Biomedical Sciences)
BEST: good system to ask for accommodations, test-taking accommodations, helpful office
TIPS:”Go and visit your 504 disability center the first week of school. They will help you set up everything you need.”Extra time on tests. Tests in the testing center away from others, covered overlays if requested.
10/10 STARS (Psychology – Alumni 15+ years ago)
BEST: Free learning support, good system to ask for accommodations, audio available in a timely fashion, good test-taking accommodations, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, peer mentors, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive
BEST: No foreign language requirement. Help with organization (master notebook system)
WORST: I wasn’t intellectually stimulated.
James Madison University
My athletic advisors steered me through the chaos.
Helped organizing classes, early registration, reduced course load, extended time.
Bellevue College – Disability Resource Center
I only took a few courses in Running Start. The head of the DRC is blind. The office is very supportive and it’s easy to submit your documentation and get the accommodations you need. I was told 25% of the student body has accommodations of some sort.
Evergreen State College
“It’s possible to design an independent study program for all 4 years. I think that means you don’t have to take a foreign language in college, although you should have taken 2 years in high school. There aren’t any general education requirements.”
8/10 STARS College is Good, Graduate Program is a Disaster (Education)
BEST: Free learning support, audio available in a timely fashion, dyslexia-friendly, helpful office, small classes, faculty are accessible and supportive
WORST: Negative culture for learning differences in the Masters and teaching program for grad students. Zero support, no flexibility or willingness from the programs professors.
ADVICE: “Go sit in on some classes it’s an awesome experience.”