Looking at Schools

You’re probably researching schools and making a list of where you’re going to visit and apply.  Or maybe you have been accepted and visiting one last time before paying that deposit.
Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind throughout the process!

go to  Health Services/Clinical Care

go to  Accessibility

go to  Dining Services

go to  Residential Life

go to  Distance from Home


Health Services/Clinical Care

Make sure you are aware of where you would seek medical care for your diabetes and what the campus health center is capable of helping you with. Here are some questions to ask yourself, and the admissions staff, at the schools you tour. This is not to say that this should affect your decision to go there, but it’s good information to know in order to create a plan.

  • Does the Health Center have someone who specializes in diabetes?
  • Do they have a lot of experience with students living with diabetes on campus?
  • What kinds of services does the Health Center provide to students with diabetes, if any? 
  • If the Health Center doesn't provide diabetes services, who would you see in a pinch?
  • If you’d be far from home, would you consider finding a new endocrinologist closer to campus?


Accessibility (Disabilities/Auxiliary Services)

Many students don’t think of diabetes as a disability, but when it comes to being prepared, registering with your school’s Disabilities/Auxiliary Services can be a good move when you get to campus. At this point in the game, just make yourself familiar with what the office is called on your campus. Every campus is different - from Disability Services, to Accessibility Services, to Auxiliary Services.

For more information on registering for accommodations on campus, click here

Check out how Cory uses accommodations on his campus!


Dining Services

The dining hall can present a challenge to students with diabetes. It can be tough to access nutritional information and serving size, making carbohydrate counting and bolusing feel more like picking lottery numbers. Make sure that you are aware of what each school provides in terms of dining services. Consider the following questions when you are looking at the dining options on campus: 

  • How does the meal plan work? Are there options that will suite your needs? 
  • Is there access to supplemental food? (ie. cafés, restaurants, stores on campus...) 
  • What are the hours of operation for the dining hall and how many are there? 
  • Where are dining halls located relative to resident halls and classes? 
  • Are there gluten free options? (If you also have Celiac disease) 
  • Does the dining hall provide nutrition information and/or measuring cups? 
  • Not seeing a lot of diabetes-friendly practices at the dining hall? Don't worry. You can advocate for yourself once on campus and request these – see the Dining Halls and Nutrition section of our site! Also, don't forget that you can stock your dorm with packaged and microwaveable food options (i.e., yogurt, oatmeal, protein bars, etc.).

Logan shared with us how he manages the many food options on campus. 




Residential Life 

Every campus is different in terms of housing. Here are some things to keep in mind about dorm life as you look at schools: 


  • Does my school guarantee housing, or will I need to find an apartment on my own?
  • How many roommates will I have?
  • How many rooms will we have between us?
  • Would you have a resident director and/or hall advisor?
  • Is there kitchen access in the dorm rooms?
  • Could you have a fridge in your room?
  • What does freshman housing generally look like?
  • Where are the dorms?
  • Are there any specialty housing dorms you might want to apply for?

Access to supplies

  • You’ll need to restock your diabetes supplies while at school. Consider how and where you’d get your supplies at each school you are considering.
  • Where is the closest pharmacy?
  • Is there an easy way to get there?   
  • How does the mail room handle packages that need to be refrigerated (insulin)? 
  • Does the health center help with supplies? 


Distance from home

There are schools all across the country, and you might find yourself loving a school far from home. Make sure you consider what it would be like to be an hour car or bus ride from home vs. a six-hour plane ride away. Distance from home is a very important consideration for all college students, but especially for students living with diabetes. How far are you comfortable taking your diabetes from home? For some people, the distance might be too much; for others, it is exactly what they want.


Want more tips about heading to college with T1D? Check out a preview of our Off to College booklet for students and request your (free) copy here!


Check out the following resources to for even more information and support:

Hear Our Story

From The Blog

Emma, CDNs past high school summer intern, tells us what it's like touring schools with T1D considerations in mind.
CDN Chapter Leader, Carmen, blogs about her transition to college with T1D.

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