Leaving for college is an exciting milestone in any teen’s life. For the first time, they’ll be taking on several responsibilities they’ve never had to deal with before. Before dropping them off at school, take a look at this list to see what you can do to help make the adjustment as easy and seamless as possible.
CREATE A BUDGET
Just like a class schedule tells a student when and where their classes are, a budget will help teach them where and how to spend their money. If you are planning on helping out financially, make it clear what your expectations are for how the money is spent. If you give them money for textbooks, that’s what it should be spent on and not pizza for the entire floor at the dorm.
If they don’t already have one, open a savings and checking account for your teen. This will make sending money easy and immediately accessible. You can also get them a VISA debit card so they can have access to their money from wherever they are. A credit card can help a student start building credit, but this should be approached with caution so they don’t go into mounds of credit card debt on top of their tuition, textbooks, etc. Any extra money should go into a savings account.
Jobs are a great way for your teen to learn responsibility, gain more independence, and earn a little spending money. Part time jobs have also been shown to help college student’s budget their time better. Jobs on and around campus are usually flexible around a student’s busy schedule and offer the convenience of a short commute. It’s also a great way to start networking and gain work experience which can help them once they finish school.
You’ve always taken care of your child, and the bills, when they get sick, but what happens when you aren’t there? Dependents can stay on your health care plan until they are 26 years old, regardless of whether they live with you or not. However, you’ll want to check that coverage will work wherever they are attending school. If they are headed out of state, find a provider that is in-network near campus with your student. Make sure they understand where your insurance will and won’t be accepted to avoid having to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. If your insurance doesn’t have an agreement where your child is moving, you may have to look into a separate plan.