Lots of my friends have kids going to college for the first time this year. Most parents are sad, anxious and excited all at once. As most moms know, planning for your kid’s big move to college can be an emotional and stressful time for both parent and child. This is especially true when preparing your finances to pay for tuition, college housing, books and food. To help you out, here are a few tips to consider when planning for college move in day as well a printable college move in checklist.
College Move In Is Exciting
When do freshman move into college? The answer to this question is specific to each college. That being said, freshman will often move onto campus one week before college classes start in order to attend freshman orientation events. College move-in day will be different for each university so check their website for residence halls information. Some may be move in by appointment. Generally speaking it will probably be some time around August 14-20.
This is a super exciting time for students. However, don’t forget that it can be very stressful for them too. Having to transition into adult life is scary to most teenagers even when they are looking forward to it as well. As parents, it is also exciting and stressful as we want them to do great and at the same time we are trying to manage a whole new set of expenses.
Tips For College Housing
According to The College Board®, even with the average tuition increasing at both private colleges and public universities, higher education still pays when you look at patterns among U.S. adults with different levels of education. Fortunately, there are many options to help you pay for college such as subsidized and unsubsidized loans, grants and scholarships, and hopefully college savings plans to help you fund your child’s education. However, tuition is just one part of college expenses. College housing can eat up a major portion of your budget as well. Here is some helpful information and a college dorm list you can use when planning for the best and most affordable home for your future college student.
Compare housing costs
At many colleges, freshmen are required to live in campus dorm rooms. Often, many will choose to move off campus sometime between sophomore and senior year of college. With so many options for today’s students, deciding between dorm-life and apartment living can be a toughie! When you’re researching housing, you may hear all sorts of information about how cost-effective off-campus living is. However, many people are unaware of the hidden costs, such as food, utilities and gas, associated with living in an apartment and can sometimes end up spending just as much or more as compared to living on-campus.
Look for included utilities
The fact that utilities are included when it comes to dorm life makes paying bills and planning expenses much easier. If you do decide that an off-campus house or apartment is the best route for your child, try searching for apartments that include utilities in the rent. This allows you or your child to account for how much money is left for other expenses rather than waiting for an electric or water bill to arrive. Not to mention, this can save money during the summer or winter months when utility bills tend to be the highest.
Roommates are a great option
Most all college freshmen have a roommate. This is a great opportunity to make a new friend or at least expand your acquaintance group. You may want to have your child read some tips for being a good roommate since this will be a new experience for most. Roommates are also a great way to share costs including rent, utilities, furnishings and even groceries. Plus, if your child selects a roommate that he or she gets along with, it will help ease the adjustment to college life.
My daughter has already applied for and received her housing assignment. Now she is just waiting for her room assignment, roommate information, and move-in date.
Set up your child’s new home
Whether you child is living in a dorm room or not, they will need to bring lots of items with them to make their new abode feel like a home. The below provided college move in checklist will help you plan for everything including clothes, toiletries, bedding, study essentials, and more.
For many kids, one of the most exciting parts of moving to college is setting up their new home. If your child is moving off campus, they will need everything on the provided college dorm list plus furniture and kitchen essentials! Second hand household goods are an affordable idea especially if they will be staying in the same place for multiple years and do not have to worry about moving everything.
College Move In Checklist
I hope you find this college dorm list useful. It is in image format below or you can the college checklist pdf here.
Off To College Product Suggestions:
While the above college move in checklist contains general suggestions, here are a few product brands I wanted to highlight. Some of these products were provided to me for my editorial consideration. Others of the following items we just found as we were collecting everything for my daughter’s big move to college.
Hello Mello Loungewear
When kids go off to college, most of first-year students will have a roommate. No to mention their room is right on the hallway with numerous other freshman. This all adds up to the need for some comfy, nice-looking pajamas. Hello Mello offers some great matching sets of pajamas and loungewear. I picked these cute, soft satin pajamas in the Leaf Me Alone pattern for my daughter.
Lucce Bee Thermal Sonic Facial Brush
College can be lots of fun but it can also be stressful and stress makes my daughter’s skin breakout. I wanted to her to be prepared with a Lucce Bee Silicone Brush. Silicone is highly bacteria resistant. It vibrates sort of like an electric toothbrush. It is the perfect way to clean her face, increase circulation, and avoid bacteria that may grow on wash cloths.
August + Monroe 3-in-1 Blemish Camouflage
To be prepared for college stress, I found this handy dandy solution from August + Monroe. Their Blemish Camouflage conceals and heals at the same time. What could be better?
Be sure to pack and label everything categorically off your dorm room list. For example put bedroom supplies in one box and bathroom supplies in another and label them as such. Additionally, label all boxes and bags with student’s name and room number. And when it comes to college move in day, be sure to arrive early. Arrive well before your scheduled to move in because you may be stuck in move in day traffic trying to get to the dorms. Many colleges will provide volunteers and trolleys for move-in but they become more scarce as the day goes on. You most likely receive even more details at the University pre-orientation program.
Sending your kid to college is an exciting milestone, but making sure they have a smooth transition doesn’t come without extensive planning. It is well worth the preparation to set your child up to have the best college experience possible. Good luck to parents and college students! I hope new students enjoy their residence hall room and student life. Are there any items you would add to this college packing list? Or any tips you would add for freshman year move-in experience?
Rising College Education Costs
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
What great tips for first year students. My stepson went off to college this year, but is long gone already. Colleges here start before Labor Day 🙂
These are great tips. I can’t imagine how much you’d have to think about when preparing your kids to go off on their own for the first time. How to fit all those personal items in the closet space provided is always a trick!
Sending your kids off to college away from home is going to be hard. My daughter is in her last year of high school and I’m glad for these tips and college list for dorms.
Jesica H says
This is a really great checklist for someone with college bound kids!
Seattle Travel Blogger says
I remember the first day I moved into a dorm room. I agree, one of the best parts was setting everything up and decorating by myself for the first time!
Kelly Hutchinson says
My daughter is a junior in high school, so this resonates with me. Looking for utilities included is a smart idea.
Liz Mays says
The switch from my the kids living in dorms to living in apartments was a big one! This is some great advice!
Autumn @ Mamachallenge says
I still have some years before my kids are college ready! But these are good college move in tips to have for the future!
Ginger Mommy says
I have a few years yet before my kids go to college. There is so much to do before they move. I will share this with my friends with kids that age.
I remember doing all this stuff with my mom before I headed off to college. It is so important to know what you are really paying for!
Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says
College is such an exciting time in a young person’s life! They’re usually off on their own for the first time and discovering a lot about themselves and the world around them!
Ann Bacciaglia says
We just went through this with my Daughter. She started her first year of University and had to move into a dorm room. We spent the summer getting ready for the move. Don’t forget to check and see if the college provides a fridge or microwave. Some of them do!
I am SO glad I have a few years before I need to worry about this. I think that I will just pack myself in his bag and stay with him! I don’t think I could handle him going yet! These are all great tips to keep in mind though. And this list will be handy once he does go off to his college campus dorm room.
Jenna Wood says
Of all the things about going off to college that scared and excited me the most it was my housing prospects. This is a great reminder to consider all the options- roommates can truly enhance the college experience and make the transition easier! Some students may want to be a resident assistant in order to reduce their housing costs.
Amy Desrosiers says
I have to say, this is one part of life I am not looking forward too! I love these tips though which are very helpful for on-campus housing planning purposes.