If a student with a disability qualifies for accommodations in high school, will they receive the same accommodations in college?

Date Updated

High schools are entities covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. When they attend college, students with disabilities will not necessarily continue to receive the same accommodations that they received in high school. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act require that institutions make their courses, programs, and services accessible to qualified students with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may include but are not limited to redesigning equipment, assigning aides, providing written communication in alternative formats, modifying tests, redesigning services to accessible locations, altering existing facilities, and building new facilities.

Precollege and postsecondary institutions have different legal obligations: for example, colleges are not required to provide accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a class or that will pose an undue administrative or financial burden on the institution. In addition, accommodations provided may not be the same at different postsecondary institutions.

For more information, consult Interrelationship of IDEA and Section 504 and Understanding the Differences Between IDEA and Section 504.