College Planning

The Summer-Before-College Checklist

After making your college decision and sending your enrollment deposit, don’t let senioritis get the best of you—you’ve still got some details to take care of.

Things to do after submitting your deposit:

  • Read and respond promptly to all the information and forms you receive from your college
  • Accept your financial aid offer
  • Remember, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA every year
  • Complete the paperwork for any college loan you’ve accepted as part of your financial aid package
  • Confirm that your counselor mailed your final transcript to your college’s admissions office
  • Check computer requirements
  • Get a checkup before college starts. Most incoming first-year students have to submit the results of a recent physical exam and their vaccination history before they can register for classes
  • Attend pre-orientation programs. Some colleges offer programs that help first-year students meet each other and ease into campus life
  • Meet with your adviser and schedule your classes for the first semester
  • Find out if you’re required to take placement exams
  • Learn about the different personal, social, health, and financial services that are offered on campus
  • If you received treatment for a mental health condition during or before high school, follow the Transition of Care Guide by The Jed Foundation to know your options while transitioning and attending college

To see an expanded list click here

What should you do when you decide to live on campus?

  • Select your housing option

Your college will send you housing information and a contract you must return. Know your options for both on-campus and off-campus housing

  • Select a meal plan

Depending on your college, this may be mandatory or optional. Some colleges also offer a meal plan for students who live off campus

Your college will give you your roommate’s contact information. Reach out to get to know them better and coordinate who’s bringing shared items for your dorm room.

Dorm Room Essentials Checklist:

  • Sheets, blanket/comforter—check the size of the bed in your dorm room
  • Pillows
  • Bed risers—for under-bed storage
  • Laundry bag/basket
  • Detergent, dryer sheets, and stain remover
  • Quarters—check if washers/dryers at your college use quarters, your college ID, or a laundry card
  • Fan
  • Towels
  • Hangers
  • Toiletries
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower flip-flops
  • Desk supplies (lamp, notebooks, pens and pencils, etc.)
  • Electronics (charger, headphones, etc.)
  • Extension cords
  • Coordinate with your roommate on shared items (TV, small refrigerator, microwave, vacuum, etc.)
  • Household supplies (tissues, water bottle, mugs, bowls, silverware, etc.)
  • Clothes

To see an expanded list click here

Visit for more free, comprehensive college planning resources.