382: Strategies for College Success with Judy S. Bass

382: Strategies for College Success with Judy S. Bass

“I know ADHD people who the minute the business is successful they sell it and start another business, because they’re bored; it’s running itself [and] it doesn’t meet any challenge anymore.” Listen as your host Eric Tivers and his guest Judy Bass discuss overcoming challenges and finding success in the college classroom for ADHD students on this episode of ADHD reWired.

Judy is an internationally recognized expert in the field of college planning for students with ADHD and other learning challenges. Over the past 20 years, she has helped many ADHD adults in their late 20s and 30s realize their dream of earning a college degree. By focusing on their strengths and instead of their challenges, she helps ADHD adults develop a positive self-image, giving them the confidence to achieve success in life.

Her website, Bass Education Services, offers comprehensive college planning where students and their families are guided through the selection and admission process. BES assists with everything from high school course and extracurricular activity suggestions, visiting colleges, conducting interviews, filling out applications, and writing essays to reviewing testing and college accommodations and fostering independence and self-advocacy skill development.

Listen as Judy shares some of her surprising revelations of and experiences with neurodiverse students. She talks about the types of college learning environments and workloads that can be better for those with ADHD to find success. She even discusses perfectionists vs. procrastinators, how to request and receive ADHD accommodations from your college, and preparations you should make before the start of the school year to help keep you organized and on track.

You’ll also hear about alternative routes to traditional colleges, college graduation myths, changing majors, finding the best field of study for you, advice on talking to parents with certain career aspirations that you don’t want to pursue, and more. Along the way, Eric shares some of his experiences as an ADHD adult college and grad student and offers his own recommendations.

Your Resources:

You’ll learn:

  • [02:18] Welcome to the show, Judy!
  • [03:31] ADHD college students experienced these pleasant surprises during the pandemic.
  • [04:15] How did Judy get into this line of work?
  • [06:15] Judy shares her self-advocacy recommendations for neurodiverse students.
  • [08:05] Not every professor accepts that some students have ADHD.
  • [10:18] When he was in college, Eric did this to minimize distractions in the classroom.
  • [12:06] Finding the right professor that matches your learning style can make all the difference.
  • [13:42] What surprising characteristics does Judy find in people with ADHD when it comes to the pursuit of higher education?
  • [15:45] Two colleges in the country, to Judy’s knowledge, have six-week classes. But it can be both a blessing and a curse.
  • [22:05] Judy discusses some alternatives to the traditional college environment available.
  • [24:33] Judy reveals why it’s a challenge to shake perfectionists out of their perfectionism.
  • [24:58] How did Eric handle his own perfectionist tendencies in college?
  • [27:23] If you decide to go back to college and need accommodations for your ADHD, Judy lays out what you should do step-by-step.
  • [29:35] Meet with someone during the summer before you start college to get your syllabi streamlined into your calendar.
  • [30:33] Several technological aids exist to help ADHD students stay on track, take notes, and get organized.
  • [32:35] What if a college student has been told to get a psych evaluation (despite research saying it’s unnecessary) to receive ADHD accommodations?
  • [39:27] Eric divulges the key to getting the best accommodations for himself in college.
  • [41:53] Smaller classes afford better opportunities to get to know your professors.
  • [42:33] Here’s what Judy tells students who are thinking about attending a large university.
  • [44:15] Sometimes, Judy has recommended that students not go the traditional college route.
  • [45:45] Judy and Eric expose these myths about college graduation in the U.S.
  • [47:12] When a student wants to change majors, how does Judy help them evaluate their decision?
  • [48:14] Students with ADHD really need to go after degrees due to genuine interest in the field, not for the money.
  • [50:19] Judy talks about how she guides students to converse with parents who have set career expectations for them.
  • [52:32] How do you find the best field of study for you if you have ADHD?
  • [53:12] Judy doesn’t recommend fields with these characteristics for those with ADHD.
  • [56:10] If you are a regular listener, consider becoming a patron by clicking on our Patreon tab at

Find Judy Bass:

Bass Education Resources

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