“Must Do's” Before Applying to Colleges
- Most college Web sites offer an overview of their psychological and psychiatric services so it is
helpful to start there to see what is available on a campus you are interested in. Also check out
Ulifeline to access information about services available at colleges across the country.
- Call or visit the college’s counseling center to make sure it offers adequate treatment options
tailored to your needs.
- Ask whether the campus-based psychological and psychiatric services are free to students or if
students must pay for those services.
- Find out how many psychologists are on staff and make sure the school employs at least one
licensed psychiatrist. With larger universities, multiple psychiatrists should be on staff.
- Make sure the school has strict confidentiality rules to protect your health information.
- Most campus-based mental health centers offer short-term care so it is important to find private
practices near campus if you require long-term care.
- Make sure to locate mental health providers in the community that will accept your insurance.
Also look into discounted rates or a sliding scale for students at off-campus locations.
- If you don't have a car, find out about public transportation for any off-campus appointments.
- Find out about the resources the college’s Disability Resource Center offers for psychiatric
disabilities. These vary greatly from campus to campus.
- Inquire about the specific services or accommodations provided to students with mental health
conditions (e.g. test rescheduling, extended deadlines, priority registration, reduced course load,
class substitution, etc.).
- Find out about the confidentiality policies of the school. Ask whether professors are informed of
the specifics related to students’ disabilities or only about the accommodations that should be
made for them.
- Get in touch with students who are receiving services from the college’s Disability Resource
Center to learn about their personal experiences at the school.
that you are receiving the accommodations you are entitled to, are not discriminated against and
that your college’s policies and procedures are legal. Review the Campus Mental Health: Know
Your Rights document posted on the Campus Life resource page for more information.
staff (including professors and instructors), campus security personnel, residential advisors, law
enforcement and hospitals.
mental health condition, students experiencing a psychiatric crisis on campus, students whose
mental health condition deteriorates so they present a threat to themselves or others and
students whose health or welfare is in jeopardy.