Frequently Asked Questions

What types of disabilities does the Cutting-Edge Program serve?

Our program takes an individualized approach to inclusion and we consider the person rather than the disability. We have a wide range of disabilities represented in our program including individuals who have visual impairments, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Processing Disorders, Down Syndrome, mental health disorders, and many more. Our emphasis for admissions is on a student’s desire to go to college, to be engaged in the college community, willingness to work hard and be a positive ambassador for the Cutting-Edge Program.

Is there an age requirement or limit for the Cutting-Edge Program?

As long as students are at least 18 years of age, they are eligible. The ages of students in our program has ranged from 18-34. The Cutting-Edge Program encourages students to be life-long learners so adults at any age are welcome to apply for the program.

What is the cost of attending the Cutting-Edge program?

The cost of attending is approximately the same cost as tuition for a general student attending Edgewood College. Upon acceptance, the Cutting-Edge Program requires a $2000 deposit by July 1st; which is then applied towards tuition. In addition, Cutting-Edge students are required to pay an $896 Housing Mentor Fee. Most students in the program take 10-15 credits per semester. Students taking 11 credits or less pay per credit, but students taking 12+ credits pay full-time tuition. Please note that the cost of classes taken for credit vs. audit differs. Tuition rates can be found at: https://www.edgewood.edu/admissions/tuition-and-financial-aid/freshman-tuition-financial-aid

Is there financial aid available for the Cutting-Edge program?

If the student is degree seeking, we do encourage parents to apply for federal financial aid for their students. They should apply through FAFSA as any other undergraduate student would. Additional information about financial aid can be found here: https://www.edgewood.edu/admissions/tuition-and-financial-aid/freshman-tuition-financial-aid
The Cutting-Edge program awards sever annual housing scholarships to students who are currently enrolled in the program. To explore outside scholarship possibilities, please visit  http://www.thinkcollege.net  
Additional information regarding outside scholarships can be found here: http://www.affordablecolleges.com/resources/scholarships-students-with-disabilities/
Lastly, families who are considering the Cutting-Edge program should consult with their DVR counselor and long-term care case manager for additional supports that might be applicable.

What is your admissions process?

We request that potential students begin the admissions process one year prior to their desired academic year. For example, if you student wants to go to school Fall 2020, they would need to apply in the summer or fall of 2019.

Our admissions process is as follows:

  • Candidate submits his or her application materials to the Cutting-Edge office (via email or mail)
  • Complete the undergraduate application (select Cutting-Edge in the drop down box)
  • Essay - Why I want to go to college
  • At least one letter of recommendation
  • High School Transcripts
  • Current Photo
  • Current IEP or Re-Evaluation
  • Application Fee (paid online)
  • Once all of the application materials are in our system, the student is considered an active applicant and will be granted an interview with our selection team.
  • The student is encouraged to bring family or support people to their interview
  • After all candidates are interviewed, our team gathers to discuss each candidate.
  • Candidates are notified by mail of three possibilities:
    • Tier I – candidate accepted into the program
    • Tier II – candidate is placed on a wait list if another candidate declines; will be considered for next year without needing to reapply
    • Tier III – candidate is not accepted
  • After the letter has been mailed, Tier 1 Accepted Candidates are invited to campus for several events and meetings.

Are there specific course requirements for eligibility for the Cutting-Edge program? Is there a minimum level required for college reading and math?

While we do consider high school transcripts, we do not have specific course requirements for eligibility. We look at the IEP and transcripts to determine the level of supports a student may need to be successful in college.
If you anticipate your student will be degree-seeking, then s/he should follow up with the general admissions office to inquire about general admissions requirements.

What does the Cutting-Edge program offer?

The Cutting-Edge Program offers 2 certificate programs – Paraprofessional Educator Certificate and 21st Century for Employment Certificate. If students do not wish to work towards a certificate they are welcome to take Cutting-Edge core curriculum courses and take regular undergraduate courses and will earn a Completion Certificate.

How should I prepare my student for college-level classes?

Two areas that seem especially difficult for our students to adjust to at the college level is in writing and reading, so any additional assistance your student can get while s/he is in middle school and high school with these subjects will be helpful in making the adjustment. You may want to investigate the possibility of using assistive technology such as Kurzweil and Read & Write Gold. Additionally, the use of a Smart Pen or Evernote can aid in note-taking. Developing computer skills, such as typing, using online calendars and to-do lists, and using e-mail, is also a necessity for college life and academics.

How should I prepare my student for independent living?

You will want to encourage your student to self-advocate and develop self-determination skills. Learning how to make good choices and develop time management skills will also be helpful in making the transition. One of the ways that college is different than high school is that there may be a significant amount of unstructured program time available that students will learn how to manage study time, internships, and social opportunities.

What outcomes do you see for students of the Cutting-Edge Program?

The Cutting-Edge Program takes an individualized approach to each student’s programming. Each student takes a variety of courses to meet their goals, while completing a paid internship each semester, all while building their independence and social skills.
Our Director and Program Coordinator/Student Advisor work closely with each student and their families to help determine which path will best meet their goals. We have students who works towards a degree, other students who choose to earn a certificate, and some students choose to audit classes while they are here.

How long do Cutting-Edge students usually stay in the program?

We recognized that each student has individual goals and a unique path. Therefore, the typical length of a Cutting-Edge student’s involvement with the program varies from student to student. Some only come for a semester and others are here for six years. We’ve also had some students that have finished the program and have to gain additional educational opportunities outside of Cutting-Edge.

When taking general curriculum courses for credit how is the student supported, through Cutting-Edge and Disability Services?

The Cutting-Edge Program works closely with Disability Services. The Cutting-Edge program provides Course Coaches and Peer Mentors to assist students inside and outside of class, while Disability Services provides testing accommodations for students.

Are Cutting-Edge students held to the same academic standards as students not in the Cutting-Edge program?

Our students are held to the same standards as general students. However, our office meets with each professor prior to the start of the semester to discuss the student and what accommodations or modifications they need.

How much parental involvement do you expect?

We do expect support from the families of our students. We ask that families attend two meetings a year with their student. In addition, families can attend events and participate in our Parent Advisory Group that meets once a month on campus and via conference call. Family involvement is an instrumental component to the success of our program and it is a factor that we consider when selecting candidates and also in allowing students to continue with the program.

Do students live on campus? If so, what sort of support do you provide the students who live on campus?

Most of our Cutting-Edge students live on campus in the residence halls. The program provides resident hall peer mentors for each student. The resident hall peer mentors help the students become acclimated to campus living and help them learn daily living skills. They also facilitate social inclusion and safety on campus.
In addition to on-campus living, we have two off-campus homes, within 2 blocks of campus. Each house has 3 bedrooms for 3 Cutting-Edge students and 1 live-in peer mentor(s). The live-in peer mentor facilitates on-campus social inclusion for the Cutting-Edge students and also helps the students learn independent living skills.

How are Cutting-Edge students able to keep up with their courses and the other demands of college life?

Our students are able to keep up with their courses and the other demands of college life because of the level individualized support the Cutting-Edge program provides to each student.