FAQ for Students


Who are the students registered with Disability Services?

Do I have to be registered with Disability Services in order to be recognized on campus as a student with a disability and to have access to reasonable accommodations at USC Aiken? 

Does registration as a student with a disability, and accommodation for a disability, differ between high school and college?

I have heard that I can sign a waiver allowing you to talk to my parents. I’ve also heard that the waiver will allow my parents to handle college matters for me. Is this true?

Does USC Aiken accept an IEP or 504 from high school?

Does USC Aiken accept a Summary of Performance from High School?

How long is the registration process?

What types of Disability Services are offered? What services do I qualify for?

How do I register with Disability Services?

What does the term "documentation" mean? Does documentation mean that you need my medical records?

Why can’t the staff of Disability Services tell me exactly what my documentation should say?

Does Disability Services provide tutoring services?

I have had a documented disability for years, but did not register with Disability Services. Last semester my grades suffered due to my disability. If I register with Disability Services, can my past grades be changed?

I have a disability that sometimes affects my attendance. If I am registered as a student with a disability through Disability Services, will I be granted an accommodation that allows for extra absences from class?

I have a disability that sometimes affects my schedule and completion of assignments, papers, and test preparation. If I am registered as a student with a disability through Disability Services, will I be granted an accommodation that allows me extensions for assignments, papers, and test preparation?

I have a disability. My SAT score/GRE score/my GPA does not meet USC Aiken requirements for admission. Can I meet with someone in Disability Services to get assistance with my admissions application/assistance getting admitted to the university?

I have a disability. I was declined admission to USC Aiken or to a specific academic program at USC Aiken. Can you help me get on a waiting list?

I understand you cannot help me with admissions, but should I disclose my disability in my admissions application?

General Answers

Who are the students registered with Disability Services?

Disability Services serves students with appropriately documented disabilities significantly affecting major life functions. Students registered with our office have disabilities including; physical, blind, deaf, psychiatric, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, other health disabilities, and traumatic brain injury.

Do I have to be registered with Disability Services in order to be recognized on campus as a student with a disability and to have access to reasonable accommodations at USC Aiken?

Yes. A student can only be recognized as a student with a disability at USC Aiken and receive accommodations for a disability if the student is registered with the Office of Disability Services and reasonable accommodations have been approved.

Does registration as a student with a disability, and accommodation for a disability, differ between high school and college?

Yes. Because colleges fall under different laws than high schools, there are many differences. There are differences in areas including disclosure of disability, documentation and registration as a student with a disability, accommodations and services available, and student responsibilities in requesting and using accommodations.

I have heard that I can sign a waiver allowing you to talk to my parents. I’ve also heard that the waiver will allow my parents to handle college matters for me. Is this true?

A college student at USC Aiken can sign a waiver giving staff permission to share information with parents. However, you should know that even if a student signs a waiver, Disability Services staff only communicates with parents, or other parties, in the presence of the student. Also, Disability Services staff requires that the student handle any matters related to our office, including registration and accommodations. We do not work with the parent in place of the student.

Does USC Aiken accept an IEP or 504 plan from high school?

We will consider any information (including, but not limited to, your description of your needs; records of past accommodations and services from high school or another college; formal psychological or medical evaluations, letters from past health, education or service providers) when evaluating requests for accommodation. This information is needed so that we can develop an understanding of how your conditions are likely to impact you.

Any documentation submitted must be completed by a qualified professional (i.e. Medical Doctor, Psychologist, Counselor) and typed on letterhead.

Does USC Aiken accept a Summary of Performance from High School?

A Summary of Performance is not acceptable documentation. A Summary of Performance is a document prepared between the high school and the student to aide the student in transition planning.

How long is the registration process?

The registration process will depend on how long it takes for you to submit the required documentation.  Once all documents have been received and verified, the process usually takes from 25-30 minutes to complete.

What types of Disability Services are offered? What services do I qualify for?

Services are determined by a detailed review of documentation.  Therefore, services for each student cannot be determined until all of the required documentation has been received and reviewed by the Disability Coordinator.

How do I register with Disability Services?

For information on how to register, please review our webpages for new prospective students.

What does the term "documentation" mean? Does documentation mean that you need my medical records?

In general "documentation" means a letter from a doctor, or a psychoeducational evaluation from a psychologist, depending upon your disability. We do not accept medical records because we cannot interpret and evaluate medical records. A letter or psychoeducational evaluation allows the medical professional to explain the disability and significant effects on major life functions.  For more details, please visit our Documentation Guidelines.

Why can’t the staff of Disability Services tell me exactly what my documentation should say?

Disability Services cannot tell you exactly what should be in your documentation because we are not your medical provider.  Please review the Documentation Guidelines for information.  The medical provider can contact Disability Services if questions arise.

Does Disability Services provide tutoring services?

Our office does not provide tutors, but tutoring services are available for all USC Aiken students in math and writing labs on campus. Students may also contact academic departments to seek tutoring.

I have had a documented disability for years, but did not register with Disability Services. Last semester my grades suffered due to my disability. If I register with Disability Services, can my past grades be changed?

No. Registration as a student with a disability at USC Aiken is not retroactive. You cannot be recognized as a student with a disability during a semester in which you were not registered with Disability Services.

I have a disability that sometimes affects my attendance. If I am registered as a student with a disability through Disability Services, will I be granted an accommodation that allows for extra absences from class?

Students registered with Disability Services as a student with a disability fall under the syllabus and attendance policy of each individual professor for each course. If a student with a disability is having difficulty with the class attendance policy, the student should speak with the instructor.

I have a disability that sometimes affects my schedule and completion of assignments, papers, and test preparation. If I am registered as a student with a disability through Disability Services, will I be granted an accommodation that allows me extensions for assignments, papers, and test preparation?

Students registered with Disability Services as a student with a disability fall under the syllabus and course requirements of each individual professor for each course. If a student with a disability is having difficulty with class requirements, the student should speak with the instructor.

I have a disability. My SAT score/GRE score/GPA does not meet USC Aiken requirements for admission. Can I meet with someone in Disability Services to get assistance with my admissions application/assistance getting admitted to the university?

Disability Services works with students after they have been admitted to the University. Disability is not considered in the admissions process.

I have a disability. I was declined admission to USC Aiken or to a specific academic program at USC Aiken. Can you help me get on a waiting list?

Disability Services works with students after they have been admitted to the University. Disability Services is not involved in admissions. If you have any questions regarding admissions, direct your questions to the Office of Admissions.

The Office of Admissions number is: 803-641-3366

I understand you cannot help me with admissions, but should I disclose my disability in my admissions application?

Disability is not considered in the admissions process. However, sometimes students choose to disclose various life experiences in an admissions essay. Some students, for example, may talk about completing high school while working two jobs because of the death of a parent. Other students may talk about completing high school while dealing with a disability.

Also, you should know that if you choose to send disability documentation to admissions, they WILL NOT pass it on to Disability Services. If you are admitted to USC Aiken and decide to register as a student with a disability through Disability Services, YOU MUST APPLY for services through Disability Services.