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Setting Your College Student Up For Success


Often parents and students can become so wrapped up in the steps of college applications, scholarships, and financial aid that they don't think about the upcoming lifestyle changes and how to prepare for the transition beyond the paperwork.

You can make the transition into college lifestyle easier for your student with these tips for a smooth move-in day and beyond.


Prepare For Move-In Day

Moving your child into their dorm for the first time is a big rite of passage. While there is a lot to think about and a lot to do, creating a plan and preparing can help make move-in day a success.

Avoid overpacking.

Most teenagers will try to bring everything they own. Let's face it - dorm rooms are small. Make a list of essentials and figure out what you need to bring, buy, or leave behind. 

Look at in-store pick-up options.

Packing everything your teen needs to move out on their own into one vehicle can be difficult. For items you need to buy, ordering online and selecting a pick-up option at the store closest to the college can save hassle when it's time to load up.

Stock them with the essentials.

Many schools have a list of things to bring, which is a great place to start. While you're loading up on the necessities, don't forget commonly overlooked items. Adding essential items like a standard first aid kit, extension and power cords, a small fan, and a basic sewing kit benefits your student down the road.

Bring a tool kit.

Bring the basics - a screwdriver, hammer, and level. Whether you need to assemble furniture, put up curtains, or hang decor, you'll be glad you brought these with you. Plus, after you leave, your child can use this toolkit throughout the school year for minor repairs and dorm decorating.

Don't forget snacks and water!

Moving is hard work. Make sure to pack some water and quick snacks to keep you hydrated and your energy up during the long day ahead.


Find Local Healthcare Providers

If your student is moving away from home for college, they'll likely need to find new healthcare providers. Researching local providers and determining which health care providers are covered by your insurance saves you and your child from future stress when a health care need arises.

Set aside time before move-in day to explain your insurance coverage and the best options available. Talk to your child about important appointments they may need to schedule throughout the year and how to best manage their physical and mental health.


Establish A Budget

Oftentimes, moving away to college is the first time your student is making daily financial decisions on their own. Help them make smart financial choices by taking the time to help them create a budget. Do they have money coming in from scholarships, grants, or loans? Will they be working during school? Outline necessary expenses and discuss the importance of good spending and saving habits.

Setting your student up with a checking account is an important first step to their financial well-being. Teach them how to track their spending and ensure they are staying within their newly created budget.

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