From Inside Higher Ed: “Colleges aren’t supposed to ask applicants whether they have a disability. But many applicants share the information on their own. In some cases, it may relate to a student’s high school record. For many students, upon being urged to write an application essay about something significant in their life, or overcoming a challenge, dealing with a disability can be a logical topic.
But what if that information is used against the applicant? That appears to have been happening to applicants with mental illness at New College of Florida, and the situation is raising concern there and elsewhere among advocates for students with disabilities.
If an applicant writes an essay about issues with psychological challenges, the admissions staff places a red flag on the application and it receives another view. Notably, this happens even if the student has received a score (in a formula largely based on grades, high school curriculum and test scores) that qualifies the applicant for automatic admission. And some of those applicants have been getting rejected.”