3 Factors to Consider When Applying to College with an Emotional Support Animal

Apr 10, 2021 | Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, Mental Health

Even after getting emotional animal support paperwork from a licensed healthcare professional, you’ll realize that some colleges don’t allow pets at all – neither as pets nor as emotional support animals.

There are many steps involved in going to college with an emotional support animal. You need to do your research and find out all the facts on the subject.


Pet Rules

These are rules set by various organizations to control the freedom of animals in their environment. Some rules are animal friendly, others are not. Similar rules are common not only in colleges, but also in many other institutions.

Some rules may include:

  • The owner of the animal must register it with the housing department.
  • The owner of the animal is asked to pay a fee.
  • The pet owner needs to get permission from roommates, fellow students, and other residents, and find out if they are allergic to their ESA.
  • The owner of the animal will be responsible for any damage caused by the animal.
  • The cage size for the animal will be limited to a certain size.
  • The college requires that the animal be spayed or neutered.
  • The college prohibits certain types of animals.
  • The college requires confirmation of the animal’s regular vaccinations.
  • Animals are not allowed in certain areas.
  • These and more are the rules you should expect from a college pet policy.


College interview questions

You may be called for an interview at the college you applied to so that you can justify why you need to carry an ESA on campus.

So prepare yourself by answering the following questions:

  • What is your mental health diagnosis?
  • Information about your treating physician?
  • How long do you treat your disease?
  • What medicines do you use?
  • What is the function of your emotional support animal?
  • What type of animal is this?
  • Do you have more than one emotional support animal?
  • How long have you kept the animal?
  • Have you ever had any complaints about it?
  • Are there any known behavioral illnesses in your ESP?
  • How well does it interact with humans and other animals?
  • How do you plan to look after him on campus?

Interview questions can be more detailed, but knowing your health status and your emotional helper animal will help you deal with the questions.


Do your research on animal-friendly colleges

Your best bet is to look for colleges that are animal friendly. These establishments may provide a fair animal policy or no policy at all, allowing you and your FEA free access to college grounds.

Some examples of pet friendly colleges are listed below:

  • University of Northern Colorado
  • University of Idaho
  • College of Washington and Jefferson
  • Principia College
  • Less-McRae College
  • stetson university
  • Stephens College


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