Get Ready for College, Freshmen!

Tips include get financially organized, complete loan requirements, purchase dorm needs and school supplies, finalize the class schedule, do job prep, communicate with roommates, and seek out campus resources
Mom helping freshman college student son move onto campus

College classes begin in just a few weeks, and there's plenty to keep students busy between now and then. We've put together a list of items for incoming freshmen to start tackling, if they haven't already. Encourage the student in your life to begin checking items off this list. He or she will want to have everything squared away before arriving on campus later this month.

  • Get financially organized. Students will need to have access to cash, so find out the banks that have ATMs on campus, and make sure your student has enough funds available for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Complete loan requirements. Any student borrowing a Federal Direct Student Loan will need to sign a Master Promissory Note and complete Entrance Counseling in order to receive loan funds. Check in with the financial aid office for details.
  • Purchase dorm needs and school supplies. Though there's a lot that students can bring from home, they'll likely need to buy a few things for their dorm room and to use in class. Check out this detailed list for ideas.
  • Finalize the class schedule. Registration often occurs during Orientation, but if your student is still in need of a class or two, he or she should try to register now.
  • Do job prep. Students who received a work-study award should follow the school's instructions for getting a job – whether it be searching for positions online or planning to attend a job fair on campus. Other students hoping to work can do some preliminary research to find out what's available on and off campus.
  • Communicate with roommates. Most college students have a roommate, sometimes two. Students can take the time now to get acquainted, set some general ground rules for the room, and decide on any combined purchases (such as a mini-fridge or microwave).
  • Seek out campus resources. College campuses are full of services to help students, and it's helpful to know where and when to get assistance. Students can review the school's website now to learn more about what's on campus, including the student disabilities office, tutoring center, and health department.

College is an exciting time, but can cause some fear and anxiety too. Helping students get prepared can help ease their transition to campus. And when students feel on top of requirements, and have a solid knowledge of the resources available, they are better positioned to enjoy (and succeed!) in all aspects of college life.

Get more tips for college freshmen