Are you in Good Hands?
or
Call 866-501-4511
Are you in Good Hands?
or

Article

It’s probably starting to dawn on you that school days are just around the corner. If you’ll be dropping off one of your kids at college, perhaps for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed. On the one hand, your child has reached a major milestone, and the thought of leaving him or her on campus may feel bittersweet. On the other, there’s the pre-drop-off to-do list that keeps getting longer. You can make it a lot easier with some advance planning and good organizational strategies.

Encourage your child to contact his or her roommate. Making the connection can help kids feel more comfortable about what to expect. It also allows roommates to sort out logistical issues like whether to buy or rent a small fridge or microwave, or bring a TV, DVD player or coffeemaker.

Did You Know?

The average cost for books and supplies is now around $1,298 per year at public four-year colleges and universities.

Discuss spending money. Set a monthly budget and let your child manage it. Talk about what will be covered by that “allowance” (perhaps entertainment and discretionary purchases) and what will be handled separately (such as books or travel).

Decide what—and how—to pack. Most colleges provide recommended lists of what to pack—eliminating the guesswork for you. Dorm rooms don’t usually have space to store luggage, so it’s best to use soft, foldable duffel bags and collapsible carriers. Don’t pack enough for the whole year: Take a seasonal approach to clothing and linens (sheets, blankets and towels), and swap them out when your kid comes home on vacation.

Organize your medical 411. Check your personal health insurance policy to be sure your college-age kid is still covered. Make sure your child has the appropriate health insurance cards and a list of medication allergies, as well as a first-aid kit and medications he or she may need. It’s also wise to confirm that he or she knows where to go on or near campus for emergencies or ordinary health problems.

Get your paperwork together. Before you show up on drop-off day, have printouts of the move-in instructions, schedule and maps on hand. If a parking permit is required, get one ahead of time or know where to go to get one that day. Make sure your kid has his or her enrollment paperwork and schedule of classes, as well as a printout of emergency contacts and contact info for key family members and friends in case the Internet crashes or there’s a power outage.