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8 Tips For New College Parents


We joined Jodi Okun, best selling author of Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro: Master the College Funding Process and Give Your Child Lifelong Financial Skills Without Losing Your Cool. We discussed everything parents and college students need to know the summer before college starts. From summer jobs to packing for dorm rooms, here’s everything you need to know.

What can students do the summer before they begin college?

  • Reach out to your roommate and plan what you’ll bring to campus.
  • Start to plan your courses, and make sure any AP/IP credits have transferred appropriately.

How can parents help students prep for college during the summer?

How can parents help set goals with students who are living at home freshman year?

  • For students living at home freshman year, parents should talk through their expectations and set clear ground rules
  • Parents can help commuter students by encouraging them to get involved on campus so that they feel part of the community
  • Commuting to college compared to high school will be really different. Here’s how to help.

Should students get a summer job before college starts in the fall?

  • I’m a BIG fan of summer jobs. I think they provide valuable lessons for students.
  • Summer jobs teach students to manage their time, gain work experience and become more independent.
  • Plus, summer jobs enable students to earn extra spending money for Fall
  • Check out UniversityParent for tons of summer job opportunities for students.

I heard about a hometown bucket list – can you give us suggestions?

  • Think about the things you’ll miss about your hometown… and start to create a list of what you want to do before you leave
  • Your hometown bucket list could include favorite restaurants, activities or even a silly tourist attraction
  • Don’t forget to include people you want to see before you leave!

What tips do you have for students planning their move-in to the dorm?

What tips do you have for students attending orientation during the summer?

  • Prepare by making a list of priority classes, and have questions ready for your academic advisor
  • Encourage your student to find out what clubs and activities might interest her.
  • Learn more on what to expect at orientation.

What are three things you want to leave us with tonight?

  • Don’t forget to just be present with your son or daughter over the summer.
  • Even though they’re about to embark on a big adventure, enjoy this time with each other, and take time to celebrate.
  • Know that when your child faces challenges, there’s a community of parents, faculty, staff & resources like ours to help.

If you liked this chat, make sure to follow Jodi Okun and UniversityParent on Twitter for more information!

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