COMPASS is an individually tailored, comprehensive, academic, and social support program for a limited number of college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

COMPASS is offered separately on each of FDU’s two New Jersey campuses. The goals of this two-year program are:

  • to help each student recognize and make use of existing academic and social strengths,
  • to aid in the development of new abilities, and
  • to promote progress toward a higher level of independent functioning.

Students begin the FDU experience during the summer when all incoming freshmen participate in a freshman orientation designed to help them meet their new classmates and become acquainted with the university campus. An hour-long COMPASS orientation will also be held for parents and COMPASS students at that time.

Specialized Services

For every week of the fall and spring semesters, each COMPASS freshman and sophomore student receives:

  • Two hours of individualized, hands-on academic support,
  • One hour of individual counseling, and
  • One group therapy session.

COMPASS also provides general case management and consultation with University faculty. Students are also welcome to participate in a peer-mentoring program. Upon completion of sophomore year, the COMPASS team makes an individualized recommendation on reduced specialized services; such services can include two hours of weekly group academic coaching, one monthly group meeting, and individual meetings with a case manager as needed.

Program Cost

There is a fee for the COMPASS program which is subject to change on an annual basis. The cost for the COMPASS program for the 2023-2024 academic year will be $3,815 per semester, in addition to University tuition and residence fees. Students applying to FDU should also visit the Financial Aid page for information about applying for financial assistance.

Applications Being Accepted for Fall 2024

The deadline for applications for the 2024-2025 academic year for Florham Campus is February 14, 2024. 

The Metropolitan Campus program is accepting applications until March 10, 2024. Interviews will be held in mid-March.

Application and Documents

The following materials are required for admission:

  • For students applying to the Metro Campus complete COMPASS Metro application form
  • For students applying to the Florham Campus complete COMPASS Florham application form
  • Letter of acceptance to Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • One official academic transcript
  • One student copy of SAT or ACT scores
  • Psychological/psychiatric report stating a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. (This report must be dated within 24 months of the application.)
  • High School psycho-social/psycho-educational evaluation and Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan, if applicable.


For questions or additional information, or to schedule a representative to speak to our staff, please call COMPASS Coordinator: