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Education Reference Desk | Online Education Resources for Students and Teachers

Most Affordable Online Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

most_affordable_online_colleges_students_with_learning_lisabilitiesWhen it comes to education, we all have to face our own individual obstacles. This is especially true of those operating with learning disabilities and limitations, and those who require specialized learning conditions to thrive. Thousands of individuals across the world suffer from learning disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, oral and written language disorders, and many others. Though these individuals often require additional academic assistance and specialized instruction, they’re more than capable of achieving both academic and professional success with proper tools and well-structured support systems.

In today’s fast-paced academic world, technology serves as a convenient, affordable, and flexible alternative to an in-person college experience. Virtual schooling platforms are continuously raising the standard of excellence in education, affording the highest levels of accessibility, adaptability, and affordability to working students, remote learners, and ambitious individuals–all from the comfort of their own homes. If you’re looking for a flexible means of achieving your academic goals, online schooling may be the perfect option for you.

We understand that searching for the ideal post-secondary educational institution is not only difficult but oftentimes overwhelming. That’s why, below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable online disability-friendly colleges and universities out there. With these options, you’re sure to find a top-rated, high-quality institution that will provide you every measure of assistance you’ll need to succeed. These institutions are committed to furthering education, providing personalized assistance, and opening the doors of opportunity and success to individuals from all walks of life.

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer accommodations for students with learning disabilities
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2020.

2021 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

#1 Florida Atlantic University $9,861
#2 University of Washington – Seattle $10,692
#3 University of North Carolina at Greensboro $11,108
#4 Southern Oregon University $12,022
#5 SUNY College of Technology at Canton $13,285
#6 East Tennessee State University $14,696
#7 The University of Montana $14,731
#8 California State University-Chico $14,843
#9 Wayne State University $15,012
#10 Gallaudet University $15,639
#11 University of Arkansas $16,263
#12 Texas Tech University $16,463
#13 Colorado State University-Fort Collins $16,793
#14 Westfield State University $17,149
#15 Washington State University $18,002
#16 Concordia University – Saint Paul $18,757
#17 Framingham State University $18,937
#18 University of Alabama $20,623
#19 University of Massachusetts – Amherst $22,927

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

1. Florida Atlantic University

Average Net Price: $9,861
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 39%

Princeton Review ranks Florida Atlantic University as one of the most affordable online colleges, best in academic excellence, and one of the top fifty undergraduate schools for entrepreneurship programs. The SR Education Group and the U.S. Department of Education recognized Florida Atlantic University’s online option as one of the best colleges for students with learning disabilities. Staff accommodates all students and their needs with additions such as both verbal and written directions and vocabulary if necessary. A Student Accessibility Services counselor will help students through the application process and determine which accommodations would be helpful. There are also numerous support services available for all students both in-person and online through the Center for Teaching and Learning. The writing center will schedule appointments with a free tutor to assist in any part of a writing assignment on any type of paper. The math lab offers free tutors as well and is available for walk-ins. The Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) provides numerous support services to supplement instruction and enhance students learning and engagement. At Florida Atlantic University, students can find support for any of their needs.

2. University of Washington – Seattle

Average Net Price: $10,692
School Type:Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Acceptance Rate: 52%

The online program at the University of Washington – Seattle is ranked one of the most affordable and learning disability-friendly colleges available. The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) ensures inclusion and access for all types of disabilities: learning, sensory, physical, health, and psychological. DRS will work with students to identify and ensure accommodations such as alternative testing, recorded lectures, deaf and hard of hearing assistance, course substitutions, notetaking services, reduced credit loads, and priority registration. Instructional materials are available with a large variety of formats including braille, large print, paper, digital, and audio. A DRS coach works one-on-one with students with disabilities to help them learn and use available tools to maximize time management, fine-tune study habits, and meet goals. Graduate students in the Department of Psychology manage the university’s Psychological Services and Training Center, which provides students with psychological assessments that may be required for full DRS services. They also work with licensed psychologists to provide psychotherapy and the LEARN Clinic, which specializes in helping those with learning disabilities and ADHD.

3. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Average Net Price: $11,108
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 82%

The number of services that the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services offers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro makes it one of the top colleges for students with learning disabilities. Besides typical accommodations such as alternative testing and notetaking services, Greensboro also offers free tutoring for all 100-200 level courses and advocacy assistance. Numerous services exist for specific academic supports. For example, the Academic Achievement Center will provide help with independent and successful learning through tutoring and supplemental instruction. The library’s staff is available to assist with research. The Speaking Center helps students prepare and deliver speeches. The Writing Center works through walk-ins or appointments to help any student complete or edit all writing assignments. The TRiO program runs federally funded services for students with disabilities such as tutoring, skill development, and advising. The campus even offers a Learning Lab tailored for students with learning disabilities. It is a quiet place for concentrating on tasks, but it also includes resources such as books and interactive software.

4. Southern Oregon University

Average Net Price: $12,022
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Acceptance Rate: 78%

Southern Oregon University will appear in searches for “colleges for student with learning disabilities.” The SR Group lists it as one of the top 36 online schools for those with learning disabilities. A Disability Resource staff member is only an email away if online courses ever become challenging. Staff can research and offer additional online tools, such as text-to-speech software, and collaborate with the instructor to ensure equal opportunities for students with learning disabilities. Instructors and students can engage in various online platforms for conferencing about course work. Apps tailored for the learning disabled help deliver materials, track assignments and schedules, take notes, form study groups, and communicate with advisors and professors.
Online and on-campus students can benefit from testing accommodations, alternative textbook formats, notetaking services, special classroom seating, and assistive technology. The University Coaching & Academic Mentoring program offers students a free Academic Coach who will meet with each student weekly to track goal completion and refer him or her to resources that may be helpful. Coaches also help students with writing support and skill development such as stress, anxiety, organization, study strategies, wellness, and time management.

5. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Average Net Price: $13,285
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Acceptance Rate: 85%

Colleges for students with learning disabilities include adjustments such as testing environments with reduced distractions, extended time on assignments or tests, alternative formats for learning materials, text-to-speech services, notetaking services, audio recordings of lectures, and assistive technology. The SUNY College of Technology at Canton Campus Disability Services Office also provides a designated coordinator to help students with disabilities coordinate services and accommodations. SR Education Group ranks SUNY College of Technology at Canton in the nation’s top ten best colleges for students with learning disabilities. Students on campus can meet with tutors and academic counselors, but so can online learners. The possibilities are endless even when face-to-face meetings are not feasible. The Betty J. Evans Tutoring Center is willing to utilize email, phone, or Skype to ensure accessibility to learning and success to all students. Student Accessibility Services will examine the need for a Personal Care Aide or Support Person. While financial responsibility lies with the student, the school does acknowledge that some students require individualized assistance and will work with the employing agency as a team to design the most effective assistance possible.

6. East Tennessee State University

Average Net Price: $14,696
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 86%

East Tennessee State University recently earned a position in search results for “colleges for student with learning disabilities.” College Consensus ranks it within the top thirty schools for students with learning disabilities. The Learning Support Program, which is part of the university’s Advisement Center, is always evolving to remain up to date with current research and needs of students with disabilities. All staff collaborates and is actively involved in yearly evaluations and planning of the services it offers. Rather than one person to advocate for and assist a student with accommodations, an entire team of instructors, academic advisers, support staff, and department heads work together to provide multiple modalities of learning. The Student Support Services provides free tutoring and counseling for students with a disability. Disability Services has mentors to give academic, professional, personal, and social development. The Center for Academic Achievement offers supplemental instruction. The team of professionals are educated on all these resources and can guide students in using them.

7. The University of Montana

Net Price: $14,731
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Acceptance Rate: 94%

The University of Montana is an excellent college for students with learning disabilities because the staff personally understands the struggles and triumphs in public education that come with having a disability. Most of the staff in Disability Services has a disability themselves. They know firsthand that society’s expectations for those with learning disabilities is traditionally lower than for the average student. They are committed to doing all that they can not only to accommodate, but also empower those with disabilities to recognize their full potential. While accommodations make educational success attainable for students with learning disabilities, standards remain the same for all students. The pathway is simply different. Disability Services will collaborate with faculty, departments, schools, and the students to provide equal access to learning. On a more individualized level, each student registered through Disability Services has a coordinator to help guide him or her through the educational process. This includes accommodations such as notetaking services, priority registration, different testing environments, extended time on assignments, assistive technology, alternative formats of text, audio recordings of lectures, and course substitutions.

8. California State University- Chico

Net Price: $14,843
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Acceptance Rate: 72%

California State University – Chico is one of the best colleges for students with learning disabilities. The Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) applies knowledge and input from staff, students, administration, and the community to make all aspects of the college experience accessible for everyone. Students registered with ARC have priority registration for the tutoring, writing coaching, and small group sessions that are in the Student Learning Center. ARC also has its own software to improve the way in which the school delivers accommodations such as alternate testing environments and peer notetaking. It also allows quick and easy interaction between students and staff. Kurzweil 3000 is another technologically based support for all students that specifically benefits those with difficulty reading quickly or comprehending what they have read. It delivers content in an audio format and allows for interactions such as highlighting and voice notes. Kurzweil 3000 pairs nicely with California State University’s universal design. This is plan for teaching staff to make content accessible to all regardless of learning styles. It includes actions such as planning for various methods of delivery and displaying materials through different formats.

9. Wayne State University

Average Net Price: $15,012
School Type: Public, non-profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 73%

Wayne State University has the common accommodations that most schools offer for those with learning disabilities, but with some novel ways of welcoming them.
One example is the Canvas learning management system. The features and capabilities of this system are particularly helpful for students with learning disabilities. Wayne State University believes diversity
is important, and those with learning disabilities are part of that diversity. Over the past few years, the number of students who register with Student Disability Services (SDS) has increased significantly and consistently. Wayne State has, therefore, increased its SDS staff to keep up with the demands. This staff has worked together to create even more ways to assist all learners such as a new student management system that simplifies the registration and exam request processes. SDS purchased new study carrels and a camera monitoring system. They hired an additional testing technician and recruited volunteers to help with the increased demand for test administration. This shows commitment and responsiveness to student needs. Finally, there is a vocational counselor from Michigan Rehabilitation Services that is available a few times a month to help SDS students seeking employment.

10. Gallaudet University

Average Net Price: $15,639
School Type: Private, non-profit
School Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Acceptance Rate: 61%

Gallaudet University is for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Hearing individuals are accepted if they are bilingual and participate in the signing environment. It is also a good college for students with learning disabilities. In fact, 14% of the students have disabilities. Gallaudet offers numerous accommodations such as counseling support, special testing arrangements, notetakers, and distraction-reduced environments. The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) holds teaching those with learning disabilities as a priority through ongoing workshops for students and faculty. The White House even honored OSWD during National Disability Awareness Month in 2003 for its efforts to accommodate all learners! The scope of OSWD extends beyond the campus. It also helps students become aware of accommodations they may request in the workforce as well. The most recent endeavor for those with learning disabilities has been a partnership with Apple to provide all students and faculty with technology that will make learning more accessible.