IEP’s and 504 Plans in College

IEP’s and 504 Plans in College

There are no IEPs or 504 plans in college. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law that provides students with IEPs, no longer applies to them once they graduate from high school.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 still protects students from discrimination when they get to college. However, they won’t get a 504 plan like they had in high school. In other words, a student’s 504 plan doesn’t “travel” with him/her to college.

Students CAN still receive accommodations in college, though. Colleges have to provide accommodations under Section 504. Students with IEPs/504 plans from high school will be given provisional accommodations their entering semester; however, they have ONE full academic semester (their entering semester) to obtain new documentation from a qualified medical/health professional). Referrals are available. 

The disability service model at college is very different from the one high-schoolers (and their parents) are used to. Colleges tend to offer different types of support. That’s why it’s important to learn as much as you can about disability services in college.

For example, the process of requesting and receiving accommodations in college is not the same as in high school. Colleges may also vary in their requirements for documentation. Another big difference between high school and college is that your child has to initiate the process and seek out the support(s) that colleges offer.

Unlike high schools, colleges are not allowed to send progress reports to parents unless students give permission for them to do this. Parents, when you’re talking with your child about college, it might be a good idea to encourage him or her to give the college permission to keep you in the loop. This process is usually discussed at Operation Hornet Nation: New Student Orientation. You can learn more about Orientation by visiting: