Checklist of things to do before your students head off to College

There are a few things parents and their children need to make sure they do before heading off to college. Here is a list courtesy of Parent Toolkit:

Fill out any required forms and documents.

There are always forms that slip through the cracks. Your student will need to make sure their college gets a final high school transcript and proof of graduation. Be on the lookout for last minute documents, like housing forms and financial aid/scholarship forms that need to be submitted.


  • Make sure your student’s health is covered.

    Double-check your health insurance policy, and talk to your teen about it. Many colleges have student health plans. Fill out any immunization forms required before your student leaves home. For more, check out Transferring Healthcare Responsibility to Young Adults.

  • Make or remind your student of any outstanding payments.

    Each school will function differently, but you may have housing or tuition payments to make to the school during the summer.

  • Encourage your teen to apply for last-minute scholarships.

    The summer before and during senior year of high school is a big time for scholarship applications, but the summer after graduation is a time that often goes unutilized. Encourage your teen to apply for scholarships that may help ease the financial burden of college and other miscellaneous expenses.

  • Have a conversation (or several…) about money.

    Make it clear what you will pay for, and what you will not.

  • Get on track for packing early.

    It is your teen’s responsibility to pack and get ready for college, but you’ll likely lend a hand. Starting early always helps, especially when last-minute necessities come up.

  • Coordinate your teen’s drop-off to their college.

    Your teen may be attending college nearby or across the country. Either way, plan how you will get your teen to school, who will be going along on the trip, and how you are going to transport all of your teen’s stuff.

  • Encourage your teen to reach out to their roommate(s).

    If your teen is going to be living in campus housing, like dorms, it may be a good idea for them to get in touch with their new roommate. With Facebook and other social networking websites, it’s easy for students to connect a bit before the move-in date. This can help the transition go more smoothly for all involved.

  • Plan for orientation.

    Orientation happens all throughout the summer at most schools. Plan early for when your student (and you) will be attending. Most schools have a separate orientation for parents at the same time as your student’s.

  • Make sure your kid has these key life skills.

    Doing laundry, cooking, managing a budget…if you haven’t had these conversations already, now’s the time.

  • Start thinking about parents’ weekend.

    Many schools have a parent weekend where parents can visit campus and their student. If you plan on attending, check this date early, as hotels near campus can fill up quickly.