Still Time to Apply, to Curry PAL

BY JOHN DRURY // FEB. 27, 2013 //

Many high school seniors are waiting to hear back from the colleges they applied to? Others are still trying to figure out what to do with themselves come the fall.

Here at Curry College, which offers rolling admissions—meaning that students can apply after formal deadlines—students with language-based learning differences still have time to get their applications in. Although the “priority deadline” for Curry’s Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) is March 1, students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, executive functioning weaknesses, A.D.D. and/or A.D.H.D. can still apply for admission.

The PAL headquarters on South Campus // Photo courtesy of Curry College

The PAL headquarters on South Campus // Photo courtesy of Curry College

When applying to the PAL program, there are specific documents that must be submitted. A diagnostic evaluation is required, which can either be a Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Ability test. Students must submit an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which documents their learning disability.

When PAL began in 1970, the program included just six to 10 students per year. However, PAL has grown over the years to the point where 20 to 25 percent of Curry’s current student body utilizes the program’s resources. The program receives between 600 and 700 applications each academic year, but has only 170 spots to offer.

In addition to applying to the PAL program, students must also apply for admission to the college. Prospective PAL students do not need to have an interview during the application process, though it is recommended. There is an optional PAL supplementary application.

Jeanne Vandenberg, a professor who interviews students for the PAL program, encourages applicants to come in for an interview.

“When I read a student application, I do not always get a full picture of the potential of a student until I meet them face to face,” she said. “The interview can make a difference in the application process because the student has the opportunity to speak for themselves about their strengths.”

One of the benefits of applying to Curry through PAL is that SAT and ACT scores are not required, which may serve as a relief to those who struggle with taking tests.

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