That’s me in the picture, getting ready to leave home for college. It was such an exciting day! But, the summer before your teen’s freshman year can be an uncertain time for your family. As a parent, you want to do everything to make sure your college freshman goes off to the school of their dreams with ease. Amid all the pre-college emotions, it can be hard to remember everything that needs to get done before move-in day. Here are a few items to put on your to-do list:
Help your student find a job near the school. Take a look at their financial aid and see if a Work-Study is an option. I had a job on campus when I was in college in the student activities department. I did basic office work – copying, filing, answering the phone. I really enjoyed it because it was on campus, and they were flexible with my schedule. Plus, I was without a car, so I didn’t have to worry about how I would get there. If there is no Work-Study option, encourage your teen to explore the area to see if they would like to be a restaurant server, babysitter, dog walker, retail associate, or anything of the sort. They will be happy to have that extra cash in college.
Along with helping your child search for a job, make sure you know what is happening with all finances that pertain to college. Sometimes things can sneak up on you, so double-check that everything is in place. Consider more than just the tuition; think about housing, meal plans, extracurricular activities, room necessities, and emergencies. Of course, once your working student has money of their own, they can help with these things! Just try to keep financial surprises to a minimum.
On the topic of financial aid surprises, take time to help your teen learn how and why financial aid works. Someday, your teen will want to take over their college finances, and the last thing you want is for them to go further into debt with a click of a button. Educating them on the financial aid process can be beneficial for everyone.
These last-minute to-dos are small but mighty. They can make a big difference with both college debt and your teen’s well-being in school. And, it gives you a few more things to do together before your teen is off on their own.
If you’d like more help with getting your teen off to college the right way, I’m happy to help. Schedule a complimentary strategy session with me here.