How to Prepare for College When You Have a Bleeding Disorder
The moment you receive a letter from a college with glossy pictures of smiling students, it's clear that you're starting a major transition. However, if you or a loved one has a bleeding disorder, the prospect of going to college brings with it additional responsibilities and opportunities. There is no need to go it alone. We have compiled some resources and tips to help along the way.
What Path Should You Take?
Four-Year College and University
Many careers today require a bachelor's degree, and four-year colleges and universities offer academic programs that lay the foundation for professional work.1 Having a bachelor's degree can also pay off—those with a bachelor's degree earn more on average than those with only a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, a bachelor's degree can help you earn over $1,000,000 more than those with only a high school diploma.2
Community College and Technical Education
Community colleges and technical education programs provide opportunities to learn a skill or trade to better prepare you for a rewarding job that provides medical insurance. Education at a two-year community college, career college, or technical school can lead to an associate's degree or certificate in a variety of programs like computer programming, automotive technology, nursing, health information technology, and cosmetology.2,4
Community colleges can also provide a strong foundation for pursuing a bachelor's degree. Many students begin their studies at community colleges and then transfer to a four-year college or university.4
Here Are a Few More Things to Consider
Choosing the Right School
A school's name and reputation matter less than whether you can thrive as a student. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
- Be Proactive: Reach out to admissions offices and ask questions. If admissions officers can't answer those questions, ask them who can. Your questions about academics, on-campus resources, residence options, and financial assistance may require more than one contact. Get answers.
- Use your HTC: Many HTCs have career counselors or social workers who can help guide you through the waters of transition from high school to college. Use our HTC Finder to find out about resources close to your prospective campus.
- Reach out to graduates: A key part of any college education is building a network. Find out about the experiences of alumni, and get a glimpse of your possible future. Your prospective school's alumni office should be able to put you into contact with someone who can answer your questions.
- Talk with potential teachers: Make sure your learning style aligns with their teaching style, and find out what academic resources they offer and what their policies are on everything from attendance to using assistants as lecturers.
Take Time to Visit
One of the most exciting times in selecting your college will come when you first set foot on campus. In addition to offering you a sense of what your experience at a school may be, the college visit offers a chance to get questions answered face-to-face, gauge just how far you will be from home, and see the types of resources a school can offer. The College Board (yes, the SAT people) offers a website (bigfuture.collegeboard.org) on college visits which contains information about planning visits and making the most of your time on campus.
Where to Live
A major decision you will make is whether to commute to school or to move away from home and into a college residence hall or apartment. If you do decide to move away from home, there are several considerations. Make sure that you are comfortable with your roommates and that they understand many of the ins and outs of how you manage your bleeding disorder. Consider letting them know where you keep your factor and other supplies. Prep them on what they may be asked to do in an emergency situation. Get to know the people at your campus health clinic. Also, if you will be living on campus, make sure to know the rules about:
- Storing medicine, needles, and other medical supplies
- Disposing of medical waste and sharps
Connect with residence life officials early in your interactions with school. They should be able to answer all questions from dining options, to the accessibility of rooms, to the type of fitness equipment that is available to students.
For more information about the transition from high school to college, check out the Association on Higher Education and Disability's (AHEAD) Resources for Parents and Students (www.ahead.org/students-parents) who are looking at and attending colleges and universities.
- US Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sources of education, training, and financial aid. In: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Library Edition. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm. Accessed January 26, 2017.
- US Department of Commerce. US Census Bureau. Education and Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates. 2011. http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-14.pdf. Accessed January 26, 2017.
- Community College FAQs. College Board Website. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/find-colleges/how-to-find-your-college-fit/community-college-faqs. Accessed January 26, 2017.
- Job Outlook By Education, 2004-2014. Occupational Outlook Quarterly. http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2006/fall/art02.pdf. Accessed January 26, 2017.