Looking at Schools
You’re probably researching schools and making a list of where you’re going to visit and apply. Here are a few more things you may want to keep in mind throughout the process!
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.
- 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 (The 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.
Eating on campus is notoriously difficult without planning for it. 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 Hall Eating section of our site!
Every campus is different in terms of housing. Here are some things to keep in mind about dorming 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
- 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 medical 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.