College students: follow our to-do list for next year

Though there's still snow on the ground here in Massachusetts, the college spring semester will wind to a close in just over a month. And before students look ahead to summer employment and a break from studies, they should make certain they've prepared appropriately for the upcoming academic year.

We've compiled a checklist of to-dos for current college students to review before they head out for the summer. If you have a son or daughter in college, pass along this list. Your student will want to make sure that he or she has taken care of all tasks before the school year ends:

    • Set up housing for next year. If you're staying on campus, you likely have paperwork to complete. And if you're moving into an apartment or house, you'll need to secure your roommates and sign your lease.

    • Re-apply for financial aid. You must submit the FAFSA® every year, and your college may require additional applications to apply for next year's financial aid. Make sure you submit everything required on time. Financial aid deadlines are extremely important.

    • Sign up for your meal plan. If you intend to eat on campus next year, review your dining options and enroll in the plan that works best for your schedule and lifestyle.

    • Keep your grades up. Your academic program and any financial aid you receive likely require you to maintain a certain GPA. Make sure you stay focused through the end of finals in order to avoid any type of academic or financial aid probation.

    • Apply for special academic programs. If you're planning to study abroad, participate in a co-op, or take part in any other specific college program, make sure you've submitted all necessary applications and forms.

As you look ahead to next academic year, stay in step with MEFA. Our new, updated website provides guidance and resources for current college students. Check back regularly for updates.