ADHD in College Students

Every day our Gleansters have conversations with Disability Services staff, often about ADHD in college students. Here's what we've come to know.

Clock 1 min read Calendar Published: 9 Jan 2024
Author Jacob Goodwin
ADHD in College Students

Our work with Disability Services is the foundation upon which we positively impact student outcomes. And in the daily conversations we have with support staff that help us to build strong institutional relationships, we’re often asked about supporting ADHD in college students.

The number of students with ADHD seeking support is undoubtedly on the rise.

In fact, in 2022, 15% of college students reporting having ADD or ADHD. This is despite only 37% of students with a disability reporting their disability to their college.

So getting to grips with the condition and the potential challenges to learning it creates is the natural starting point for understanding how best to serve these students.


ADHD - the lived learning experience


It’s estimated that around 4.4% of adults in the US have ADHD, with primary symptoms including impulsivity, inattentiveness and hyperactivity.

These can lead to working memory impairment, feelings of restlessness and a risk of developing mental health conditions like depression.

Evidence suggests there is a further gender disparity with female students experiencing symptoms with much greater intensity than male students.

Research also shows that students with ADHD are also at greater risk of developing problems with alcohol and drug abuse, creating a wealth of potential pastoral concerns.

Focussing primarily on the classroom, some of the common challenges associated with studying with ADHD include:

  • Concentration
  • Note taking
  • Preparing for exams
  • Organizational skills
  • Time Management

Managing ADHD at college

Perhaps most alarmingly for colleges within the context of academic achievement, students with ADHD have statistically lower GPA than students without and are more likely to drop out entirely.
ADHD can have a series of potentially debilitating effects on students’ ability to learn. From working memory to information processing, metacognition to motivation, ADHD in college students creates a number of potential roadblocks to learning.
The question accommodations coordinators will therefore naturally ask is how can we help reduce the impact in a learning environment?
Thankfully, there are a number of accommodations available to Disability Services...
Learn how Glean can support students with ADHD
Time for a simpler, smarter note taking accommodation?

Time for a simpler, smarter note taking accommodation?

Glean is the online note taking tool that makes compliance simple, reduces cost and admin burden, and improves student outcomes.
Learn More