Application Process

The Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP) is excited to review your application!

SDAP is a non-degree seeking program that allows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to develop academic, career, personal and social skills that enable them to transition into successful and independent adulthood. Upon completion of the program, Scholars walk in Commencement Ceremonies with their peers in the College of Education and receive a Collegiate Achievement Award diploma.

Scholars enrolled in the program are:

  • Highly motivated
  • Life-long learners
  • Desiring of a college education similar to peers and family
  • Interested in being self-advocates
  • Desiring of personal independence
  • Practicing interpersonal skills
  • Setting personal academic, career, personal and social goals
  • Working toward self-determination*

*Self Determination means being able to make your own decisions. For all of us, this is a balance between ourselves and the systems we live in (families, social groups, laws, government). For people with disabilities, sometimes these decisions have been made for the students and making the best decisions can be challenging because of a lack of understanding and experiences. Our goal is to help students learn to make their own decisions and we do this by providing them with opportunities to exercise the decision making process with support.

SDAP Application Instructions for 2024-2025
Application now open.

Complete your application! Just a reminder, you will be applying as a "non-degree seeking student" and not a "First Year Student"

Application review for the Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP) will begin in December. We encourage applicants to complete their applications by December 1 for priority consideration.

SDAP will review new applications until all spaces for the 2024-2025 academic year are filled. 

Please contact our office should you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Admissions Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply to SDAP, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Are between 18 and 25 years of age at the time of admission.
  • Have documentation that indicates an intellectual disability.
  • Are enrolled in or have completed an occupational course of study (OCS) or similar program during high school.
  • Are interested in having defined career, personal growth, social engagement, and health and wellness goals.
  • Have the ability to effectively communicate with staff, supports, and peers.
  • Have a base level of skills in areas of self-care, money management, and navigation.
  • Are able to be unsupervised in a variety of settings.
  • Are able to manage their own medication needs.
  • Are not otherwise eligible to attend Appalachian State University as a degree-seeking student.

Required Application Materials

As part of the application process, we request the following materials be uploaded to the SDAP application portal:

  • Writing sample in the form of a letter of intention completed by the applicant please. Parents, we can tell when you write the letter.
  • Resume
  • Completed reference forms (you will supply email addresses only and we will contact the references)
  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Two most recent IEP's and the most recent Special Education Reevaluation 
  • Psycho-educational evaluation providing evidence of an intellectual disability and any other diagnoses including current treatment plans completed within three years (see your school psychologist)
  • Current behavioral and emotional screening such as the BASC-3 or the SRSS-IE (see your school psychologist)
  • Completed Application through the university as a Non-Degree Seeking Student

Application Process Timeline

Completed applications are reviewed by the SDAP Admissions Committee in December and January. Applicants who submit all required application materials by December 1st are given priority consideration.

  1. Interviews are typically conducted between January and March.
  2. Applicants are typically selected by mid-April. Admission decisions will appear on your MyMountaineer Status Page. Letters are sent out by the university notifying applicants.

Tuition and Costs

Scholars admitted to the program pay regular App State full-time undergraduate tuition and fees, as well as a $2,500 SDAP fee per semester. The SDAP fee covers a range of services, supports, and activities provided by SDAP.

SDAP is a comprehensive transition and postsecondary (CTP) program. It is advised that you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid form) at the same time you complete your application to SDAP. In some years there may be scholarships available based on financial need which will also require you to submit the FAFSA for eligibility.

If you have an active case with Vocational Rehabilitation Services, make them aware you are applying to SDAP. They may be able to provide some financial assistance.