Important College Advice for Parents

health proxy for college students

Here is some important college advice for PARENTS to review before you drop your child off at the dorm. Preparing for college involves a lot of lists for both the student and the parents.. bedding, computer, dorm room essentials and more. There are numerous items that are often overlooked as we get the kids ready to move on campus.  Here is a good checklist with tips for parents sending kids to college this fall.

1. Mobile/Ipad Device plans: Review your student’s existing calling, text or data plan. Know what the limits are each month and discuss it with them BEFORE they leave. They need to know if there are limits in terms of text messaging, calling minutes or data usage for an iphone/blackberry/ipad or other. College students LIVE by these devices.. they text, call and email constantly. If they exceed their limits, the overages are costly. Downloading and steaming gobble up data plan allowances. If their ipad/smart phone has both 3G and Wifi, stress that they use the WIFI options whenever possible. Tell them to turn off the 3G setting when not in use on their ipads. You may opt to put them on an unlimited plan because at the end of the day, it will be less money than monthly penalties for excess usage. If that extra expense is not an option, sign up for usage alerts from your carrier. They will text or email you both alerts if usage is close to exceeding the plan allowance.

2. Health Insurance: Make sure they have it, either under your plan or by purchasing it from the university.

3. Property Insurance: Check with your homeowner’s policy to see what is covered in the dorm. If they are living off campus and have expensive items in their home, see what renter’s insurance will cost. College housing is a disaster waiting to happen for computers, stereo systems and other items of value. Read this rather humorous story of what happened to our son and his housemates. 10 of them living together and not one of us parents even thought to get renter’s insurance.. a costly mistake for the boys! We should have read this college advice for parents ahead of time.

4. Auto Insurance: Check with your insurance company if they are bringing a car to school to see what needs to be done. If they are not, call to see if they can be reclassified as a part-time driver to save on your premiums.

5. Complete a health care proxy: This maybe the most important and most often overlooked college advice for parents. If they are over 18, a form should be completed before they leave so that one of you could converse with a doctor or hospital in the event of an emergency. With the medical privacy laws, medical staff cannot discuss their care with you unless you can produce a document like this. Ask your family physician if he has a form available or check with a lawyer, or here is a link to an online health care proxy.

6. Credit Cards: The kids will be flooded with credit card offers and they do not need co-signers in many cases. Discuss this with them and make sure they understand the repercussions of getting a card and mishandling it. Some parents give their students a credit card for personal use.

7. Keep Records: Make copies of everything in their wallet.. license, credit/debit card, insurance card etc., a check if they are bringing a checkbook. If they lose their wallet, you will everything on hand to cancel out quickly. Copy back and front so that you have the 800 phone numbers to call to do this.

8. College Text Books: Stress to them the savings they can realize on their textbook bills by getting their class syllabus early and investigating alternatives to buying new at the college bookstore. Here’s a good article to help them save money on college textbooks..

advice for parents of college kids

Don’t wait til the day before they leave to start following this college advice for parents. The kids will be flustered, anxious, excited and find your conversations “totally annoying”. Pick a couple each week and get them done. You will send them off to campus with peace of mind! Now check out our Top 12 tips for Furnishing a college dorm room.

For more college advice for parents.. visit Celebrate College

This college advice for parents in not intended to serve as legal counsel. Celebration Ideas Online is not liable for use of this information.

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