Your car and student bags are likely overflowing, but here are a few vital things that college parents should remember that don’t require extra room.
Five additional items that you must not forget:
1) Create a personal file.While getting their belongings together, students should set up a file of key personal information, including a copy of their driver’s license, insurance cards, Social Security card, debit and credit cards and immunization records. Using a digital tool such as Evernote can be a smart idea as it will allow you to have all the information you need at your finger tips and can be easily shared. A passport or a copy of one also is useful, both for travel and to confirm citizenship if you apply for a job.
2) Complete the FERPA form – before leaving your student at college be sure to discuss your expectations for how you can support their education and how you will be able to help them during a crisis. Without your student providing permission, you will not have access to their university records. Most colleges provide a form to complete during orientation or within the student account or you can also use the FERPA authorization form provided through College Parents of America.
3) Purchase at least some Tuition Insurance. Starting at $29.95 for $2,500 of coverage per term tuition insurance is an affordable way to protect your investment in college. It is vital to understand your college refund policy. Most colleges don’t refund money after day 25 – even for illness, injury or disability – so you could be out thousands of dollars. Tuition insurance may not be something you needed in high school or something you have even heard of, but most students would benefit by having at least a minimum of $5,000 of annual college refund insurance.
4) Renters Insurance. “Don’t forget that colleges are not likely to replace stolen or damaged property of your student. In addition, you may or may not have coverage for your student within your homeowner’s insurance policy which normally has limits of coverage including the full-time status of your student and up to 10% of your property coverage. Expensive items like that new computer may not be fully covered; if you are worried about replacing it, then be sure to purchase renters insurance which costs typically less than fifty cents a day. For protecting your stuff consider a college specific renters insurance plan such as those offered through GradGuard – which includes worldwide property coverage, replacement level coverage, and personal liability coverage.
5) Health Insurance. Though you are not likely to forget it, we recommend that college families consider your alternatives when it comes to student health insurance. See this useful and comprehensive article by The New York Times. Your first choice is likely going to be your family policy. If you are looking at buying your campus recommended plan, we suggest comparing the features and benefit levels. If money is particularly tight and your student is in good health, then it is also possible to consider using a short-term medical plan while relying on the primary care services of the university health center.
Remember, that each of these tasks can be done before actually moving to campus, but purchasing tuition insurance must also be completed prior to the start of classes. You can not purchase tuition insurance after the start of classes.