Will my disability help or hurt me in getting admitted to Valparaiso University?

Disability is a neutral factor in the admissions process of Valparaiso University. In fact, Valparaiso University can not legally inquire about the presence of a disability prior to admission. All students are admitted based on their ability to meet the standards set by the Office of Admissions.

If you believe there is a need to consider your disability when reviewing your application  you ( the prospective student) may want to write a letter to be sent with your application. This letter should display insight about your disability,  coping skills learned, and indicate a willingness to use services at Valparaiso University. The content of the letter should have an academic focus. 

Does Valparaiso University offer any scholarships for students with disabilities? 

Many Valparaiso University students receive financial assistance such as scholarships, grants, and loans to cover the cost of attendance. To learn more please visit, Student Financial Services

Please note the Access and Accommodations Resource Center does not assist students in finding grants or scholarships based on disability. However, there are links to possible resources on our webpage. 

Can I speak with someone in the AARC prior to being admitted to Valparaiso University? 

 Prospective students visiting campus are encouraged to request a meeting with staff in  the AARC through the Office of Admissions. 

What accommodations can I receive for my disability?

Realizing that diagnoses manifest differently in each person there is no one-to -one correspondence of disability to  accommodations.  Each student is granted accommodations according to their individual needs. Our office may grant reasonable accommodations related to academic, housing and/ or dietary needs. 

How do I go about requesting accommodations at Valparaiso University?

All disability  accommodations – long term or temporary – will be handled through the Access and Accommodations Resource Center. Individuals seeking accommodations should have a documented disability. Written verification of diagnosis (please visit our Medical Documentation Page for more information) as well as information gathered during intake will be used to determine the appropriateness of accommodations. To schedule an intake meeting please reach out to AARC staff via email: aarc@valpo.edu

Does Valparaiso University offer services to students who have a temporary medical condition (such as a broken leg, mono, or pneumonia)?

A variety of services can be provided to students with temporary medical conditions, including but not limited to classroom accommodations and access to a shuttle that provides door to door transportation on campus. Students in need of temporary accommodations must have medical documentation to verify condition.  To discuss accommodations please contact AARc staff via email. 

Once I meet with the AARC, how are accommodations communicated?

When a student is granted accommodations their professors are notified through an electronic letter that is populated to course rosters. Students’ diagnosis(es) will not be listed in the letter, however ALL approved classroom and testing based accommodations. Services and referrals made by the AARC that are non- classroom related will not be listed.  

While professors will be in possession of students’ accommodation letters it is the student’s responsibility to discuss the applicability of each accommodation to the course. Students are also responsible for requesting the utilization of accommodations in a timely manner.  In the evident that a student is granted accommodations in the middle of a semester the accommodations begin at the time of acquisition. Accommodations are not retroactive. 

Accommodation letters are valid for the entire academic year ( Fall and Spring, up to the end of Summer term if applicable). Students wishing to continue their accommodations in the next academic year must renew with AARC staff. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with each instructor to discuss how accommodations are applicable to that course.

For more information, visit the Accommodations Process Page

Are instructors legally required to follow my accommodations?

Yes. Professors are legally required to follow the  accommodations stated in a student’s accommodation letter. However, certain accommodations may not be applicable to a course due to the  essential functions of that course, department, and/ or accrediting body. 

Does Valparaiso University pay for evaluations or reevaluations of disability? 

No. It is the student’s responsibility to provide verification of disability to Valparaiso University and to pay for evaluations or reevaluations of disability. 

If you are in need of suggestions on how or where to get tested for a disability please contact our office. 

Does Valparaiso University have a specialized program for students with disabilities? 

No, at Valparaiso University all students are held to the same degree requirements. In the event that a disability would require a course substitution to general education requirements this may be done on a case by case basis. There are however a wide range of support services offered to all students. These services include: 

Academic Advising

The Writing Center

Academic Success Center

Language Resource Center

Career Center

Counseling Center

Pastoral Care

Peer Mentors

What can I do if I feel that I have been discriminated against because of my disability? 

Valparaiso University’s Office of the General Counsel investigates all complaints of discrimination at the University. Contact this office should you feel that you have been discriminated against based upon disability. 

Or you may contact the Office of Civil Rights ( OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education. OCR is the department tasked with enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Have other questions? Feel free to email us at aarc@valpo.edu!