Before Your Student Heads to College

Chances are that your To Do list is feeling large these days, as you and your student prepare for her exit this August. To help you along, here are a few things to take into consideration:

  1. Figure Out Insurance. Will your student’s property be covered by your homeowner’s policy or some other policy if she is living on campus? Will renters insurance provide adequate coverage if she’s moving off campus? And what about health insurance —will your major medical policy provide coverage, no matter where your student is going to school, or is it limited geographically? Is a policy available through the institution? And how will you handle auto insurance if a car is in the picture?
  2. Determine Room/House Amenities. Do campus mattresses require extra-long sheets? What is your student’s roommate bringing? How big is the room? And what is allowed/not allowed?
  3. Consider Travel Options. How will your student get to school—and what about her belongings? Will you drive, borrow/rent a vehicle, mail things ahead of time or take some other direction?
  4. Get Dates Squared Away Now. When is move-in day? Family Weekend? Winter break? Thanksgiving break?
  5. Think About Technology. If your student has a cell phone, will the plan/coverage remain the same in a new location? How will you handle computer considerations, especially if you have one family computer that is being shared or none at all? What computer facilities are available on campus? Does the campus bookstore offer deals on laptops?
  6. Figure Out Finances. What kind of bank account will your student use during her time at school—one from back home or through a bank in her college town? What expectations do you and she have regarding finances? Will she work while at school? What about ATM availability? Does she have a credit or debit card and, if so, what is it to be used for?
  7. Follow up with Orientation and/or Admissions. Is there any lingering paperwork from orientation or admissions?

These are just a few important considerations to keep in mind as you help your student prepare for college. Best of luck during this busy, yet exciting time!