College and T1


so im a sophmore in high school. my brother is a senior, so we've been looking for scholarships and colleges since last year. in all this, my parents have had me start looking for a college too. i want to be a horse trainer, and theres 2 colleges i like. 1 is in state, but expensive, and the other is out of state. if i stay in state, i get to keep my insurrance until i graduate college, which pays for all my D supplies, but the school will be more expensive. if i go out of state, i lose my insurrance, and then we wont have the money to pay for supplies. any advice?

another question i have is how will college affect D? how much harder will it be to balance classes and blood sugars?

any help is appreciated! :)


Not quite sure why you would lose insurance if you go to college out of state. If you are on your parent’s insurance plan that should carry you until you are 23 or so - If you are on state assistance plan I thought they kept you on until 21. I would definitely call and verify your coverage and find out for sure - besides, 2 years can change what happens to your insurance !
My son is a freshman and I am nervous about him going to college as well. I think there may be a group here for college students or at least I have seen some write about their experiences !! Keep us posted. nancy

Hi Brandi!

I’m a sophomore in college. I was diagnosed at the age of 18, only 2 weeks before a 7-wk pre-freshman summer program 10 hours away from home. Let’s say I learned D quickly. I am also fortunate to have an Endo on campus at our health center.

The first thing I would recommend is to get on a pump if you’re not already. I got on a pump just weeks before I started classes, and it was the best thing I could have ever done.

In response to your question “how much harder will it be to balance classes and blood sugars,” I would ask how hard is it to do so now? How much do your parents do for you? Become as independent as possible now, and the transition will be a breeze! When I use the word ‘independence,’ I don’t mean private. Be sure to keep your parents informed as to your BG#s and doses and such, but they should not be the ones telling you when/what/how much/how often to eat, test, exercise, etc. I think that I had an easy transition from high school to college and from nonD to D because I was in charge of myself and I had no other choice but to do it and learn.

You can do it!


I agree w/ Tom. A lot of places will make you purchase an insurance if you don’t already have one…so if you’re going to ‘lose yours’, then you might look into plans that are available through the university. As long as you have coverage up until the day you start your ‘new plan’, you shouldn’t have to worry about any “Pre-existing condition BS”.

hey nancy
im not on my familys insurrance plan. i have insurrance srom the state that lasts as long as im in skool or i leave the state. my mom has called and asked them about it.
i think i do remember seeing a group for college students on here…ill have to go ask them what its like :slight_smile:
thank you!

hmm, i didnt think of that. ill have to check into that…thank you!

As far as college affecting your D, I would pose the same questions as awillie.

Being as independent as possible is key (not that you should tell your parents or others to ‘butt out’ or anything). You should know how to manage successfully from day to day, encountering the random foods you may eat from a school cafeteria (or if you eat off campus at a local restaurant that you’re not familiar with), etc. You should know how to successfully manage your D when you get sick (a whole new group of ppl you’ve never met carrying a whole new group of ‘bugs’, added w/ the stress of school, can cause some people to get sick easier). And I don’t know if you plan to drink at all (if not, disregard this part. If so, please be mindful), but if you do, you really need to understand the effects of alcohol on your body w/ diabetes laid on top of that.
I was Dx’ed at 11 and was very independent early on, and I too had an easy transition from HS to college. That’s not to say I didn’t go through a learning process at school, but I was able to keep good A1cs throughout school so as not to hinder the reason why I was actually at school :slight_smile: Best of luck in working out the details of your insurance/college endeavors!

hey awillie!

im already on the pump. i have the one touch ping and i love it!

i guess its not too hard now…right now my parents adjust my basals, call in refills on supplies, and fax all my blood sugars to my endo. lol i know i have 2 more years to wait, but the thought of being so far away from home kinda scares me…

thanks for the help :slight_smile:

Well, I’m no expert, but I can relate. I am a junior in college and I was diagnosed right at the end of the first semester this year. Here are some things that I would keep in mind. Get in touch with the school’s nurse/physician asstant. They’ll be ready to help; at least mine will go over numbers, ask me questions, and is always open to things I may need help with.

Notify your professors the first day of class. Let them know you may miss class because you have a lot of doctors appts and bloodwork beforehand.

This is a big one for me. Look into schools where you have a full kitchen in a townhouse setting. Maybe even look into living off-campus. Maybe it’s just my school but I don’t tust them counting carbs for me.

Learning D was a 5 week crash course for me. I was diagnosed the last day of finals, then had christmas break to learn everything I needed to know to live on my own and manage my BG’s. I actually enjoy the responsibility of living on my own and doing things for myself.

Good luck on your applications and figuring out where you land up going. Sorry I couldn’t be much help with the financial stuff, I just let my parents handle that haha! But I hope that this helps!

hey tim!
wow that must have been crazy to have to learn everything over Christmas break!
your adivice was very helpful! thank you so much!

hey i’m just trying to help. now take this into consideration too… after i got out of the hospital i couldnt read … ANYTHING… my eyes were so messed up from a long period of high BG that they were adjusting to the normal levels again. Should have known something was up when suddenly, a little over a month before diagnosis, I was prescribed glasses for the first time. Now that my BG is back to where it should be, I’m back to my good ol’ 20/20 vision. Crazy what BG does to the body.

A little off topic but close. I went to college on a rehab scholarship. It was administered by a state agency, perhaps the department of human services. This was years ago and others may have updated info. I paid 50 cents a credit hour.

so your saying i should try super hard to keep the numbers under control so i dont damage my body, right?

YES! thankfully, i didn’t run high long enough to have any long-term physical damage to myself, but that being said, my a1c at my admittance was at like 14 or 15% so I certainly wasnt helping myself. That being said, it was long enough for me to see (literally) what happens when you don’t treat T1. Keeping your BG’s in normal range is the best thing and most important thing for you to do. Keep track of them and look for trends, write them down or keep them in your computer. And test, test, test. You don’t know what your BG is unless you test!

Brandi- Leaving the state refers to your permanent address. As long as you spend breaks in your home state and maintain a drivers license there you haven’t “left” the state. The question of coverage if you saw a doc in the new state might be a problem. So you might have to see your doc on vacations. ER visits are normally covered like they would if you are traveling.

Also, look into whether either state offers any benefits for diabetics. When I went to college my state covered testing to verify program selection and gave me about $500 per year. But that was 20+ years ago. I don’t remember who we asked to find out about that.

Good luck.

I can relate to that. My eyes were messed up for about 2 months after diagnosis and I couldn’t read anything. Isn’t it great to see again?

Good point Mark! I went out of state to college, but I never changed my permanent address. Could be the same for you Brandi!

ok ill make sure to do my very best :slight_smile:

mark- hey, this was really really helpful!! thanks so much!
kristin- i sure hope so!