Preparing for Your Child’s First Year of College

Now that your oldest child is graduating high school, it’s time to shift gears and plan for their first year of college. What main things should you be preparing for?

Checking Account

Many colleges have an affiliation with a specific Credit Union or Bank. The campus ATMs may be restricted to the Credit Union or Bank or may charge a fee if money is withdrawn from another bank account. Reach out to Student Services or some similar group at the school to get more information on campus banking.

Credit Cards

Set limits on credit card spend if you are concerned that your child may abuse the credit card. These limits also help you child learn how to manage their spending.

Barnes and Noble

Some schools have Barnes and Noble running their bookstores. If the parents have American Express credit card reward dollars, these can be cashed in for Barnes and Noble gift cards, which can then be used to purchase course books at the book store. You may even be able to use the gift card to purchase supplies. Call the school to find out.

Summer Jobs

Parents should make sure their soon to be college students make as much money as possible over the summer so they can have money for the college year. There are many extracurricular activities in college and most cost money. Fraternities and Sororities can be very expensive. As much as $3,000 for the year.


You can complete the FAFSA for you and your child as early as January of the new year. You have until June to complete your FAFSA for the upcoming school year. The Financial Aid Department at the college will use the information on the FAFSA to assist them in determining how much financial aid our child is eligible for.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
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