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ADHD Accommodations for College Students

classroom-with-professor-and-student-discussing adhd-accommodations-for-college-students

The transition to college can be a daunting experience for any student. For those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the challenges can be even greater. 

This blog aims to show the ADHD accommodations for college students pursuing higher education, helping them to thrive academically.

Understanding ADHD Accommodations for College Students

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that often persists into adulthood. It’s characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. In a college setting, these symptoms can manifest as difficulty focusing on lectures, completing assignments on time, or balancing academic and social lives.

Students with ADHD often struggle more than their peers to adapt to the demands of college life. Most of them cannot keep up with the pressure and mismanage their priorities. 

Accommodations in Managing ADHD 


Accommodations are adaptations and modifications provided in educational settings to support students with disabilities, such as ADHD. They are designed to level the playing field, not give students an advantage. For students with ADHD, accommodations can change their conditions and allow them to learn effectively. 

Accommodations do not alter course content; they change how the content is delivered or how students are allowed to respond. More options can be available for them, but they remain to be graded similarly to the others. 

Accommodations Available for College Students With ADHD


Colleges and universities offer a variety of accommodations to support students with ADHD. The type and extent of accommodations depend on individual needs, but they all aim to mitigate the challenges posed by ADHD symptoms.

Extended Time on Tests

One common accommodation is extended time on tests. This allows students diagnosed with ADHD more time to process information, plan responses, and check their work. 

This accommodation is crucial for students with ADHD who may struggle with focus and attention to detail, taking more time to finish the test.

Note-taking Assistance

Note-taking is a skill that is especially challenging for students with ADHD due to difficulties with focus and processing information at the speed at which it is delivered during lectures. 

Professors often allow students diagnosed with ADHD to record lectures via video, audio, or speech-to-text software. The school can also provide additional references for the student in relation to the lecture. 

Priority Registration

Priority registration is another accommodation that can greatly benefit students with ADHD. It allows these students to register for classes ahead of the general student population. 

This enables them to choose classes that fit their schedule and their learning preferences. It also prevents them from being compelled to choose classes with small intervals. 

Private Room for Test-taking

A distraction-free, quiet location can significantly improve concentration for students diagnosed with ADHD. Secluded areas are ideal for them to reduce the amount of sensory stimulus that can hinder their focus when taking major exams. 

Reduced course load

This prevents students diagnosed with ADHD from feeling overwhelmed by the workload required. Instead, the student can make up credits during the summer of another year. 

Process for Obtaining ADHD Accommodations for College Students

Despite having typical ADHD accommodations for college students that are readily available, ADHD and other learning disabilities require more verification. The process to obtain and request accommodations can vary among institutions

Necessary Documentation

Typically, documentation should include a diagnosis of ADHD from a licensed professional and a detailed explanation of how the condition impacts the student’s academic performance. It’s important to start gathering this documentation before starting college, as it may take time to compile and verify. 

Working With the College’s Disability Services Office

The student office for disability services is a crucial resource for students with ADHD. They can help determine what accommodations are appropriate and how to implement them. 

Reaching out to them will certainly help students prepare for acquiring ADHD accommodations for college students. 

Universities With ADHD Accommodations for Students

Many colleges and universities have robust programs to support students with ADHD and other disabilities. Some notable ones include:

These are just a few examples. It’s important to do research and ask questions to find a college or university that will best support your individual needs.

Career Opportunities for Students With ADHD

Students diagnosed with ADHD have the potential to excel in many fields. They often possess unique strengths such as creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and the ability to thrive in dynamic environments. Many successful entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators have ADHD.

Fortunately, businesses are slowly establishing helpful accommodations for young adults with ADHD. This can allow them to grow and improve their careers without seeing their condition as a hindrance to success. 

Utilize Ava as Part of Student Accommodations

College can be a challenging time for students diagnosed with ADHD, but with the right accommodations, these challenges can be managed effectively. By understanding their rights and the resources available to them, individuals with ADHD can thrive in their academic pursuits and beyond. Remember, ADHD is not a barrier to success but a unique aspect of who you are. With the right support, you can turn it into a strength.

Ava can be the best accommodation for students with disabilities in learning, like ADHD. Ava can be used as a note-taking application during lectures and multiple-speaker discussions. With its captioning functions, students with disabilities can be easily accommodated. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common accommodations for students with ADHD in college?

The most common accommodations include extended time on tests, note-taking assistance, priority registration, and a private room for test-taking.

How can I apply for accommodations in college if I have ADHD?

You can apply for accommodations by providing documentation of your ADHD diagnosis to the office of disability services in your college. They will help determine the appropriate accommodations for you.

What documentation is required to get accommodations for ADHD in college?

Typically, you’ll need to provide a diagnosis of ADHD from a licensed professional and a detailed explanation of how the condition impacts your academic performance.

What are reasonable accommodations for ADHD in college?

Reasonable accommodations can include extended time on tests, note-taking assistance,, priority registration, and a private room for test-taking. The specific accommodations depend on the individual’s needs.

How does extended time on tests work as an accommodation for ADHD?

Extended time on tests allows students diagnosed with ADHD more time to process information, plan responses, and check their work. This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with focus and attention to detail.

Can I get accommodations for both ADHD and anxiety in college?

Yes, you can get accommodations for both ADHD and anxiety in college. It’s important to provide documentation for both conditions to the office for disability service.

What are my legal rights as a college student with ADHD?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, including ADHD.

How does a private room for test-taking work as an ADHD accommodation in college?

A private room for test-taking provides a quiet, distraction-free environment. This can help students with ADHD concentrate better on their tests.

What resources are available for me as a college student with ADHD?

Colleges offer a variety of resources for students diagnosed with ADHD, including, counseling services, academic support centers, and peer support groups.

Can I get accommodations for ADHD in grad school?

Yes, accommodations for ADHD are also available in graduate school. The process is similar to that in undergraduate programs.

How do I approach my professors about accommodations for ADHD in college?

It’s best to approach your professors early in the semester, ideally before classes start. Explain your condition and the accommodations you have. Be open, respectful, and proactive in your communication.

What is the role of the college’s office for disability services in providing accommodations?

This office helps determine appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities and assists in implementing them.

Can I get accommodations for ADHD in online college courses?

Yes, accommodations can also be provided for online courses. These can include extended time for assignments and exams, breaks during lectures, and assistive technology.

What strategies can I use to manage my ADHD in college?

Strategies include using your accommodations consistently, staying organized, managing your time effectively, taking care of your physical health, and seeking support when needed.

Do ADHD college accommodations apply to internships?

Yes, under the ADA, students diagnosed with ADHD can also receive accommodations for internships.

Can I apply for accommodations for ADHD even after I’ve started college?

Yes, you can apply for accommodations at any time during your college career. However, it’s best to apply as early as possible to take full advantage of the support available.

How do accommodations for ADHD differ between high school and college?

While both high school and college provide accommodations for students with ADHD, the process to obtain them and the level of self-advocacy required can be different. In college, students are expected to be more proactive in requesting accommodations and managing their condition.

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