Preparing for College

Effect of ADD on Admissions

Question: I began my freshman year in high school poorly, and performed half decent through my sophomore year. Then, before my junior year, I was diagnosed with ADD. After receiving the proper medication, my grades improved significantly. I now have straight A's in one of the most arduous curriculums my school has to offer. I just received a 640 math and 660 verbal on my SAT, and I intend on augmenting each to a 700. My senior year I will be taking 5 AP courses. Do schools take medical history into serious consideration when making admission decisions?

Colleges do indeed take note of extenuating personal circumstances such as ADD. You are in a good position to enhance your applications by putting the proper emphasis on how you struggled with your disorder and, through proper diagnosis and hard work on your part, came back to reverse your earlier difficulties.

If you can coordinate your written responses, especially your essay(s) and your recommendations to focus on the core of this issue, you may well have some pleasant surprises come next spring. In fact, some top colleges have excellent programs that can aid ADDers. Search the Web for such phrases as "college ADD programs" and you'll find links that lead you to a listing of schools that catering to those with special learning issues.