College Planning Tips for Kids with ADHD

Last Updated on September 6, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Sarah is a senior in college and David is a senior in high school this year. That means that this year is going to have some big changes for everyone.  When Sarah was a senior in high school, she knew she wanted to go to college after high school. She hadn’t decided on a specific major but was certain that college was the next step for her. David hasn’t made a firm decision about what he wants to do so we are investigating a few different options and searching for college planning tips to make the process easier.

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College Planning Tips for Kids with ADHD

College Planning Tips

Planning for college can be confusing and frustrating. There is just so much that you need to think about. It’s more than just what college your child will go to. You need to think about what is going to make them the most attractive to colleges when they apply.  How are their grades? Are their extra curricular activities well rounded? Do they have extra curricular activities? Are they doing volunteer work in your community? What’s going to make them stand out from the sea of other applicants.

On top of that is always the concern about how you’re going to pay for college. Are you paying for college or are they? Are they going to get financial aid? Will there be scholarships or work studies? Will they need to hold down a job to help pay for college? Will they live at home to help keep expenses down or will they be living in a dorm? The financial concerns alone can be nerve wracking.

One of my biggest concerns as a parent of children with ADHD is testing. Colleges rely on standardized tests in part when considering applications. If your child has ADHD, you’ll understand why this is an issue. Many kids with ADHD do not test well. Not only is retaining information you have no interest in a challenge, but making yourself focus on a test that lasts several hours can be a real problem.

Kaplan Test Prep can help make this process a little bit easier for you and your child.  Their KapMap offers a free 2014 KapMap College Planner. KapMap is a month-by-month breakdown of everything you need to know about getting into college, all in one place.  Involve your child in the process and help them get organized and prepared with this information:

  • When to apply
  • Why test prep matters
  • How to apply for financial aid
  • What to consider when choosing a college

There is also a section for test prep and resources to help your child get ready for college testing. I love that it includes a variety of different types of testing (SAT, ACT, PSAT/NMSQT, AP). They even show you how you can take a free practice test in your area or online. Letting your child take the test prep several times helps them get used to the testing process.  Taking advantage of all the information on the KapMap site really does help the testing process go a bit smoother.

Take advantage of this special deal right now and start planning. Save $100 when you enroll in Kaplan’s SAT and ACT course through 8/28.* Promocode: SHESPEAKS100

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12 thoughts on “College Planning Tips for Kids with ADHD”

  1. This is really helpful information and insight that I will be passing along!  Always enjoy reading your posts, Ellen, you offer a bundle of great tips! 
  2. I can't even imagine my kids starting college.  I have toddler twin girls and a boy going into gr.1. I never thought of college tests and kids with ADHD.  
  3. My son just started his freshman year and we are already working on college planning. I really think you can never start early enough!
  4. What a great post for any kid going to college, but especially for those with ADHD. My daughter will be heading to college soon and I will be saving this post for her.
  5. Kaplan has some great prep books and used a good one to pass my nursing boards several years ago. College planning sure can be overwhelming for anyone. All this week has free webinars on autism. Today I'm registered for Assessment & Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. It's an update for me and excited for all the progress we are seeing with treatment. Should be an informative week ahead.
  6. I love that you are letting your son be him. I feel like too often we push every kid on the same path to college. My daughter has similar issues to ADHD and I already kind of worry about what high school and college testing will be like. Good to know that there are resources out there!
    • I'd hate for him to think he has to pick a job that he doesn't like just to make us happy. I worked at a job I hated for years and that's no fun at all. 

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