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What to know before you go to College!


With only about a month to go before your child heads off for their first day of college there are some important things to know. Here are some things that a student can do to be prepared before arriving on campus.

  1. Explore their college website

  2. Prepare for class registration. Make a list of potential classes, but also have some backup options

  3. Surf their learning management system. Does their college use Blackboard, etc?

  4. Browse clubs and activities that the college offers. Explore their passions or interests

  5. Complete required online mini-courses, some colleges require you to do these?

  6. Choose a planner

  7. Clean and organize your computer. Take out any of your high school work

  8. Check out your campus map

  9. Take care of necessary doctors appointments

  10. Make sure your accommodations are completely arranged

Colleges also have a list of things that they would like students to do to be successful on campus.

  1. Check your email every morning and night - this is the official mode of communication between students and the university

  2. Don't ignore action items in your email - in particular items from the Registrar or Bursar

  3. Parents-Don't be fixers. Practice how to listen and make recommendations. Help guide by asking questions

  4. Parents- Talk about signing FERPA waiver, this allows you to have conversations with staff and faculty at your child's school

  5. Know how to use the services at your college. writing centers, tutoring, group study sessions, recitations, faculty office hours. These services are offered to all students, not just students that are experiencing challenges.

  6. Be prepared to share a room with at least one other person. Sharing will require good verbal and written communication about cleaning space, having guests over, quiet time and so much more.

  7. Participate-fully-in Orientation activities. It's a great way to connect with fellow students.

  8. Check you accommodations and have a plan in place

  9. Remember, you may not like your new home every day. Who does? It can take time to adjust.

  10. Become financially literate. Understand how subsidized and unsubsidized loans work, how to set realistic weekly budgets, know the difference between a debit card and a credit card.

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