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Questions to Ask When Choosing a College

Many high school juniors and seniors will be visiting college campuses this spring and asking questions to help them decide where to continue their education. Students with food allergy will ask the same range of questions that other students ask. However, there are additional concerns that students with food allergy should address.

The following list of questions is designed to provide you with the general food allergy-related information you will need to select a college. Use it after you know the school can meet your academic needs.

  1. Does the school have experience with food allergy? Is the staff willing to work with you?
  2. Does the campus contain a medical facility? Is the staff able to treat an allergic reaction?
  3. How far is the nearest hospital?
  4. Are the emergency medical services and ambulance service equipped with and able to administer epinephrine, if necessary?
  5. Is the food service director willing to help you identify safe menu items and answer your questions? Will food services be willing to prepare you something safe using alternative ingredients?
  6. Do the cafeteria and on-campus restaurants have reliable procedures for tracking menu ingredients and preventing cross contact in the kitchen?
  7. Will you be able to have a single room if you want? (Some schools have few singles and do not assign them to freshmen and sophomores.)
  8. Is cooking permitted in dorm rooms? What are the restrictions (e.g., microwave, electric skillet, burner, Crock-Pot)?
  9. How far is the nearest grocery store?

These are just a few questions you will want to ask before making a choice. Be sure to also ask any questions that are unique to your allergy.

Happy hunting!

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