Campus Life

Will Freshman No-Cars Rule Be Waived for Special Needs?

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Question: Can I bring a car to a college that doesn't permit it due to extenuating circumstances? I have struggled with anxiety and depression since elementary school, but last fall (when I was starting eleventh grade) I finally found a therapist who made a huge difference in my life. Next year, I want to keep seeing her when I start college, but the college I hope to attend is about an hour from my therapist and doesn't allow freshmen to have cars. If I don't have a car there, it's going to be pretty impossible to keep seeing this doctor because there's no public transportation to get me to my weekly appointments and back, and my parents can't do it because of their work schedules. My mother suggested that I ask the admission office if I can bring a car to campus due to my special needs, but I don't really want to tell admissions about these needs. My grades and test scores are above the average at this school and I think I have a great chance of being accepted, but I am reluctant to give the admissions committee any information that might work against me. What should do?

Although colleges cannot legally discriminate against students with disabilities, they also aren't obligated to disclose why a candidate has been denied, so it's often wise for a student to stay mum about physical and mentalhealth challenges when there's nothing on the transcript that cries out for an explanation. But there are several ways that you can solve your problem:

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