Undivided Resources
Parent Question
Can students with intellectual disabilities go to college?

Can students with intellectual disabilities go to college?

Published: Mar. 14, 2022Updated: Apr. 6, 2023

Many colleges, employers, and some branches of the military require a diploma. Students without a diploma can still apply for federal financial aid, thanks to the Ability to Benefit act. More opportunities are becoming available as universities become more inclusive. For example, UC Davis has the Redwood SEED Scholars Program, a four-year, non-degree program for students with intellectual disabilities. These students will be able to attend classes, live in the dorms, make friends, find peer support, and have access to the same college experiences as their neurotypical peers.

California offers College to Career (C2C) programs throughout the state, including Pathway at UCLA Extension, the College of Adaptive Arts in San Jose, and private college opportunities. Think College’s College Search Tool includes inclusive college programs across the country. The California Department of Education also suggests using the Big Future College Board website to search for schools that meet your child’s needs.

For more, see our articles Building a Goal-Oriented Future: Earning a Diploma or a Certificate of Completion and Thinking About College for Students With Intellectual Disabilities.

Join the Undivided Community to get more resources like this in your inbox


Promise Image
Each piece of content has been rigorously researched, edited, and vetted to bring you the latest and most up-to-date information. Learn more about our content and research process here.
A Navigator is your Partner at each turn
Every Undivided Navigator has years of experience supporting families raising kids with disabilities or parenting their own. Partner with an Undivided Navigator for a free Kickstart to learn first hand what support feels like!
Expert-driven content, guidance, and solutions.
Member events and office hours with real answers, plus access to our private parents' group.
Priority to begin a free Kickstart of the Undivided Support System with a dedicated Navigator.
“It’s so helpful to have one place that you can go to get many answers.”–Leeza Woodbury, with Navigator Kelly since 2020
*Currently offering Navigator Kickstarts to residents of California