A To Do List for College Bound Seniors: A Baker’s Dozen!

I was recently talking with a friend who is the parent of a student heading to college in August. I had a front row seat to this family’s admissions journey this past year and I got to observe the student weigh their choices and make an (inspired) final decision. This past week, the mother commented on how she thought this process had ended with the deposit on May 1st, but really, the deposit triggered an entire new set of tasks. There is so much to do when you are headed to your first year in college and the checklist can seem endless. I decided to compile a list of things to be on top of as a senior prepares to head to college:

  1. ORIENTATION-Colleges handle orientations differently. In 2023, it is common to attend a multi-day orientation in June or July. These are usually required and dates can fill up fast. There are other schools that have the first year class come in a few days early for orientation. Before you organize summer travel plans, make sure you have your orientation on the calendar.
  1. HOUSING-Even if the school guarantees freshman housing, there can be preference for those who deposit early. Make sure that the paperwork is properly filed to secure housing. 
  1. ROOMATES-Make sure you know how your school assigns roommates. Can you request a specific roommate? Is there a social media page to find potential matches? Or does the school prohibit requests and place incoming students with a roommate?
  1. HEALTH FORMS-Colleges have different requirements about vaccines and you need a physical within the past twelve months. Track down the paperwork from the college and make sure you have an appointment with your medical professional. 
  1. MODULES-Many colleges require students to complete a mini-course or a series of modules online before they arrive on campus. 
  1. COURSE SELECTION-This is the most important thing your student will do and they need to complete this in a timely manner so that they do not get shut out of classes that they want to take. 
  1. PLACEMENT TESTING-Some colleges require students to test for math, writing and/or world language placement. If the college has requirements around this, make sure that your student follows through with the necessary steps. 
  1. TRANSCRIPTS-Your high school has steps that your student needs to take to arrange for their final transcripts to be sent to the college. They cannot start college without the final transcript from their high school. 
  1. AP/IB CREDIT-If your student has AP or IB test scores that earn credit at their college, they will want to send in the official scores. 
  1. MEAL PLAN-Many colleges offer choices with their meal plan. It makes sense to look at the cost and select the most efficient plan for your student. 
  1. TUITION-When is it due? There is often a hefty charge for late payment, so take note of the due date and take steps to ensure that everything is in order. (This is especially important if you are using loans). 
  1. SUMMER ASSIGNMENTS-Yes, it is possible that your student could have academic work to complete over the summer. 
  2. TRAVEL-If your college requires air travel to get there, it pays to book early!

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