College Preparation

  • If a post-graduation goal includes post-secondary education, it’s strongly recommended college readiness begins as early as the ninth grade. In some cases, students may begin earlier.

    College readiness includes exploration in the following areas:

    • Various post-secondary institutions:
      • Public or private 4- year university
      • Public or private 2-year program
      • Community college
      • Technical colleges
    •  Programs of study and degree offerings
    •  Financial aid and tuition
    •  Application process and requirements
    •  Accessibility rights and options, such as assistive technology 
    •  Vocational rehabilitation services
    •  Self-Advocacy

    Another important reason for college preparation is the change in the student’s rights. Many special education rights and laws do not apply to postsecondary institutions. Knowing what rights and laws include postsecondary institutions will ensure a successful transition into and through college. To learn more about this, watch Post Secondary Educational Programs and Services, from the Texas Transition and Employment Guide.

    When planning for post-secondary education, consider utilizing the following resources. You may also want to contact the local school district to ask about available college readiness programs or courses. 

    I Can! Learn: ACT Boot Camp

    Led by a Nationally Certified American College Testing (ACT) Educator with experience teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students, this week-long program will prepare students for the ACT exam. The program will include intensive preparation for each of the three subjects: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Incredible resources and tools for each subject are shared, equipping students to combat test-taking anxiety and increase their accuracy. It’s not all work; there will be some fun too! Students can choose to participate in recreational activities or use their free time to study. After all, it takes rest and readiness to succeed! Campers will take their ACT exam at a testing center at the end of the program.

    CollegeBoard: Career Finder

    CollegeBoard provides a wealth of information such as free personality assessments, matching careers based on assessment results, information on colleges, majors, interviews, tips for applying to college and much more.

    Funding for College

    When preparing for college, it will be helpful for students and families to begin searching for funding sources.  Funding sources have various eligibility requirements. Knowing about these earlier in the preparation process will help guide decisions relating to courses, extracurricular activities and personal goals. It is recommended to search for funding for both categories: students who are deaf or hard of hearing and students with disabilities.

    Available to Texas residents, the Certificate of Deafness for Tuition Waiver waives tuition and tuition-based fees at Texas state supported colleges, universities, and technical schools. Hearing levels and other eligibility requirements are posted on their website, along with the application form.

    The Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR services) outlines how students can apply for VR services and support post-secondary education expenses and accessibility needs.

    College Scholarships share a list of scholarships that are geared towards students with varying hearing levels.

    Colleges and Universities

    As students prepare to apply to colleges, they should consider what accessibility options and resources are available to them. The National Deaf Center offers an interview checklist students can use when asking about accommodations and resources. A good fit is critical for a positive college experience.

    Colleges and universities, whether public or private, do have a responsibility to comply with federal and state laws for providing access and opportunities to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some colleges and universities have dedicated staff and resources to support students of various hearing levels and communication preferences while others may provide disability services.   

    The following Texas colleges and universities have dedicated staff and resources specifically to support students.

    Apply Texas

    A centralized college application portal, specific to Texas public universities and participating community and private colleges. Scholarship information and applications are also available.

    College for All Texans

    A one-stop resource directory of post-secondary resources, information and guides for Texas students or individuals preparing to attend a Texas college. Includes tips for Middle School and High School students.

    There are universities that are specifically designed for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.