UMatter Program

Program Application

Thank you for your interest in applying for the UMatter Program! Learn more about our admissions requirements below. For more information, please contact

Program application

The application period for UMatter is now closed for the Fall 2024 Cohort and will reopen in September. If you have any questions, please email UMatter at: 

Who should apply?

People with intellectual disabilities (must be at least 18 years old) who have a personal desire and support, if applicable, to gain skills related to academics, career development and employment, campus and community engagement, self-determination, and independent living at the USF St. Petersburg campus. Students in UMatter express a strong desire to continue their education in a postsecondary setting, explore careers and engage in work-based learning opportunities, and live independently.

what documents do I need for the application?

Application Checklist 
Student Online Application
Personal Support Questionnaire completed by parent 
Parent Readiness Questionnaire 
Signed Memorandum of Understanding 
Release for Recommendations 
Personal Statement or video/recording from Student with a recent photograph/headshot of the student
Official High School Transcript
Behavioral Records (if student has no record, send a letter from the high school or most recent postsecondary setting stating there is no record) 
Current or former IEP which serves as evidence of the applicant’s eligibility for special education and related services under the IDEA

A recent documented comprehensive and individualized evaluation which includes:

  • Psychological evaluation, including IQ testing
  • Adaptive behavioral scores
  • Social-emotional functioning 

Copy of guardianship agreement, if applicable.  

Please note: Applicants who have guardianship in place (including guardian advocacy) may apply to UMatter. However, all guardianship documentation must be shared as part of the application package and further discussion and documentation may be required, if accepted into the program. 

Admissions Criteria:

Applicants who meet the criteria below will be considered for the UMatter Program: 

  • A documented intellectual disability that impacts progression in a standard curriculum in pursuit of a postsecondary degree or certificate
  • Exited the K-12 system, either through graduating with a regular or special diploma, or high school equivalency
  • Is at least 18 years old;
  • Has a desire to attend college courses and participate in a university campus experience, including a willingness to audit two (2) college courses during each semester (at minimum)
  • Has employment and community participation as personal goals, with a commitment to becoming competitively employed during the program and upon exiting the program
  • Is capable of mobility on adult campuses, including transportation to and from campus, or be willing to receive travel training to navigate to the campus daily during weekdays
  • Displays a level of social maturity conducive to an adult environment (i.e. employment and educational settings)
  • Has the ability to maintain self-care and personal hygiene independently
  • Has a support system committed to a collaborative partnership, such as the parental/guardian/family support of the student’s participation in the program (including commitment to competitive employment during and after program)
  • Has a reliable means of communication, including willingness to acquire required technology to participate in program (smart phone with texting and navigation capability)
  • Willingness to follow program and university’s code of conduct
  • Clear discipline/incident record (as applicable from high school or previous employment or other community setting)
  • Strong attendance record (as applicable from previous high school, employment or community setting)
  • Willingness to work with an academic mentor/tutor and peer mentor(s)
  • Willingness to participate in service/volunteer opportunities in the community as part of the college experience

Need more information? 

For more information about the UMatter Program, please contact us at

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