Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.

ADHD Module

Accommodations for Students with ADHD at the Postsecondary Level

As noted in the above chart, it is the student’s responsibility to seek accommodations at the postsecondary level. According to a report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2)(Newman, Cameto, Garza, Levine, & Wagner, 2008), nearly two-thirds of postsecondary students with disabilities receive no accommodations from their schools. This lack of accommodations is primarily because the schools are unaware of students’ disabilities. About half of postsecondary students with disabilities reported that they do not consider themselves to have a disability, and another 7% acknowledged a disability but have not informed their schools of it. Only 40% of postsecondary students with disabilities have informed their schools of this (Newman et al., 2005). Thus, there are many students with AD/HD and other disabilities that do not receive accommodations at postsecondary institutions because of a lack of self-disclosure.

Receiving the appropriate accommodations and supports can be essential to academic success for students with AD/HD enrolled in postsecondary courses (Byron & Parker, 2002). These authors have noted that students with AD/HD who do receive accommodations typically receive one or a combination of the following:

  • Extended time for tests and assignments
  • Distraction reduced space for exams (such as a room in a disability services office)
  • Note-taker for class lectures
  • Reduced course load
  • Computer for exams
  • Books on tape
  • Proofreaders
  • Tutors
  • Foreign language substitutions
  • Coaching in study skills and time management



Byron, J., & Parker, D. R. (2002). College students with ADHD: New challenges and directions. In L.C. Brinckerhoff, J. M. McGuire, & S.F. Shaw (Eds.), Postsecondary education and transition for students with learning disabilities (pp. 335-387). Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Newman, L., Cameto, R., Garza, N., Levine, P., & Wagner, M. (2005). After high school: A first look at the postschool experiences of youth with disabilities. A Report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

United States Government Accountability Office. (2009). Higher education and disability: Education needs a coordinated approach to improve its assistance to schools in supporting students (GAO-10-33). Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1033.pdf