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Five Things Recent Grads Should Do Before College

Congratulations, high school graduate – you’ve made it! The coming months will be full of relaxation, quality time with family and friends, perhaps a summer job, and preparing for college. While college move-in is likely a few months away, there are still plenty of items to keep in mind as you get ready to begin your next chapter. Here’s a checklist to get started.

1. Review and respond to any communication from your college in a timely manner.

This may include details about financial aid, orientation, housing, or other important information. Be sure to respond to any email or postal mail that requires your attention; some schools may also have a portal or app to log into. Once your campus email address has been established, you may receive information from your college there as well, so keep all lines of communication open.

2. Schedule and attend orientation.

Most colleges hold on-campus orientation on a variety of dates. You’ll tour campus, learn the ins and outs of campus life, and potentially take placement exams or create your course schedule. Make a list of questions you may have before attending, and keep it in your phone so you won’t forget to ask. If there are any matters that need your attention while you’re on campus, schedule an appointment for the same day.

3. Select your meal plan and housing options.

Some schools have requirements for both for first-year students, but if you have the ability to choose, consider where you could save money and whether you can make changes later if needed. Do you prefer to eat three meals a day in a dining hall, or are you likely to just grab a granola bar on your way out the door of your dorm room? Will you be going home on weekends? You may be able to cut back on your meal plan.

If you’ll have roommates, you should receive information about connecting with them once housing assignments are made – another key piece of communication to watch out for!

4. Take care of medical needs.

Make sure you have health insurance coverage, whether you are staying on your parents’ insurance plan, enrolling in a policy from your school, or need an individual policy. If you take medication, be sure you have refills available and know where the local pharmacy is located. You should also find out where the campus clinic or nearby hospital is when you attend orientation – just in case!

5. Create a financial plan.

Consider how will you access money in your own account or from your parents while at school. Payment apps may work to exchange funds, but you will also need a way to make purchases at stores or online. Do you have an established checking account at home? Are there branches or fee-free ATMs near campus, or would it make sense to open a new account with a local credit union or bank?

For tips on managing your money in college, check out this article from our partners at iGrad.

If you still need funding to cover your fall tuition and other school-related expenses, we can help match you with a credit union offering private student lending solutions. Click here to get started!