What every parent of a freshman should know...
As a parent, you want your student to enjoy their college experience and it may be the first time they have been a significant distance away from home for months at a time. You also understand that part of their new adventure includes many opportunities be learn how to be independent and self-reliant. At the same time, you want to participate, although at a distance, in their success. Here are a few tips and hints on how you can assist them.
Financial stresses can prove to be quite the distraction for a college student, and attending college today can be quite costly. Besides paying tuition, room and board, and books, college students often face a multitude of smaller expenses that add up quickly. Discuss finances with your student before they leave home. Perhaps you want to give them a short course on budget planning. Be open and honest with your student about how much you can contribute above and beyond the necessities. Discuss with your student your expectations about their financial responsibility while they are away from home and jointly agree to a budget. You may also want to discuss on-campus employment if appropriate as well as time management.
Financial Aid Facts
Be advised and educated on what type of financial aid is available for your student. Not only is it important to know what type of aid is available, but you should also educate yourself and your student on the repayment that will be required. Also, be sure to file the FAFSA as early as possible to ensure you are able to get the maximum funding. Plan on completing your personal income tax return in January or February. Financial aid offices distribute much of their aid on a first-come, first-served basis, so keeping one step ahead of the game is crucial. The longer you wait to get started, the more you’re going to pay in the end.
Banks and Credit Unions
There are numerous local and national banks and credit unions to choose from close to campus. They can provide information regarding student loans, personal loans, and checking and saving accounts, as well as convenient cash withdrawals and money transfers. Parents may want to take advantage of the Gold Card Services to deposit money directly into their student’s Gold Card Account (link)
Health Care Services
Make sure your student is familiar with Boettcher Health Center when they arrive on campus—it’s important to know this before they get sick or need help. Encourage them to learn about the service fees the health center charges, as well as the services offered. Make sure you provide your child with a benefits card or a copy of your healthcare policy before they leave home.
Freshman are not permitted to have vehicles on campus. Exceptions to this rule are granted on a case by case basis (link to Safety)
Know that conflicts are likely when your student moves away from home to share a small living space with one or more new people. Encourage your student to contact their roommate/s before they arrive on campus. The telephone, social media and the internet are great tools for students to acquaint themselves with roommates before arriving on campus. Conflict is natural, so your student and their roommate should be prepared with ways of resolving problems. Encourage your student to talk through their problems with their roommate to find a resolution. Resident assistants and other staff members can also assist with conflicts as needed and make recommendations for resolution.
Colorado College complies fully with federal and state laws governing alcohol—students under the age of 21 may not legally possess or consume alcohol. Every school has their own disciplinary action for students who violate the alcohol policy. Some include meeting with staff members to discuss the situation at hand, while others include participating in classes. As a parent, it is important that you speak with your student about your expectations regarding alcohol use since they will be in a new environment with new freedoms and responsibilities.
College students on nearly every campus in the country will interface with alcohol at some point. We take every part of the CC experience very seriously, and we have implemented a comprehensive program to give students the tools to make safe and healthy decisions around alcohol. Whether your student will consume alcohol or not, AlcoholEdu can give you ways to discuss its presence and your expectations.
The Dorm Room
For information on what to bring with you to campus to outfit your dorm room and what items are provided, go to http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/reslife/ Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms to suit their own personal style. If your student is able to talk with their roommate before the school year starts, they can coordinate what items each of them will bring to furnish the room. You may also want to provide your student with a quick course on washing laundry and tips on keeping a dorm room neat and tidy.
Homecoming and Parents Weekend is Colorado College’s traditional family weekend event and is held in October. You will receive periodic information, updates, and schedules of events concerning the weekend. Homecoming and Parents Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to meet faculty, attend athletic events, lectures, film festivals, and generally visit with your student and explore their exciting environment.