The end of summer is almost here, and that means your baby is about to head off to college. While they’re trying to figure out what to pack and what to leave at home, you’re probably thinking of the logistics of having them away from home for most of the year.
To help you stay organized and help them navigate college with a little less stress, here’s a checklist for you as your kids get ready to go to college.
Even if your child has a job and a scholarship, there are plenty of concerns about money in college. Here are a few things to do before they leave.
- Open a parent account at the college so you can easily pay tuition and fees. Find out how you can add money to their student account, too.
- Establish a budget for your child with the money you’ll be giving them. Go over what you’ll pay for and what they’re responsible for on their own.
- Make sure your child has a bank account and a debit or credit card to use. If they already have this before college, make sure they know how to access their money or open a local account to make this as easy as possible.
- Talk about using a credit card responsibly, their credit score, and why a free t-shirt in exchange for a completed credit card application isn’t the deal it seems to be.
Books and Supplies Checklist
Books and dorm supplies can be the biggest expense for both of you at the beginning of the school year. A bit of preparation in advance will save you time and money.
- Research book options for the college. Can books be rented instead of purchased? Are online or ebooks available at a discount? Students may want to wait until after the first day of class to buy their books as not every book on the list will be used by a professor.
- Figure out what kind of laptop your student needs and where they can take it to be fixed or maintained while they’re at school.
- Find out if the school offers computer software or hardware for sale and if a student discount applies.
- Will you chat by Skype or cell phone? If Skype, make sure their laptop has a camera and mic.
- Bring extra extension cords and power strips because most dorm rooms don’t have enough outlets.
- Pack a small tool kit, scissors, and duct tape for putting the room together — hanging pictures, plugging in small appliances, putting together furniture, etc.
- Check the bed size before you move in to get the right size bedding. It’s usually a Twin XL but it’s best to check first.
Eventually you have to come home and leave them at school. But you can still protect them from afar with the right insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to take care of before they get to school.
- Make sure they’re still covered under your health insurance policy and that they know where to go if they’re hurt or sick. Find out if urgent care is covered by your health insurance.
- Update your auto insurance policy. If their car will be with them at college or parked at home, that needs to be noted. Also, ask about coverage if someone else drives their car.
- Get insurance and/or extended warranties on their cell phone, laptop, and other electronics. Mysterious oops and spills will occur, and it’ll be cheaper to use the insurance than to buy all new equipment.
- Find out how your homeowners insurance policy covers your student while they’re living in a college dorm. You may need to add an extra rider for their electronics.
- If your child isn’t living in a dorm, but in their own apartment, they’ll need a renters insurance policy when they move in. This is extremely affordable and covers their belongings in case of an accident.
To take care of your college student’s insurance needs when they’re home and while they’re away at school, contact Charlotte Insurance today.