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How To Tell If You're Ready for College

Jun 16, 2011

Now that you've graduated high school, you probably feel a huge sense of relief. But don't get too comfortable. There are still things you need to do to make sure you're ready to start college.

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By Jessica Lyons

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Make Sure All Your Documents Are In

Depending on where you're going to school, there might be different documents you have to submit. Many colleges require students to submit medical histories or immunization records. You might also have to fill out a form with emergency contact information for the school to have on file. Before your semester starts, find out what your school's specific requirements are and make sure everything is in.

Have Your Financial Aid and Payments in Order

Some schools might put a hold on your ability to register for classes if you haven't paid your bill. Once you've made sure that all your scholarships, grants and loans have been submitted and applied to your account, see if there is still some tuition due. If there is, take care of it right away. You don't want to be delayed registering for classes because of an unpaid bill.

Get Ready to Register For Classes

While enjoying your summer vacation, find out the date for incoming freshmen to register for classes. You don't want to miss out on a particular class because you waited too long to register. It's also a good idea to take a look at your program's course requirements and your class options in advance so you know what you actually want to register for. And write down a couple of backup options in case a class you want is full.

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Obtain a Copy of Your Class Schedule

Some schools create a schedule for first semester freshmen instead of letting them register on their own. If your school does this, keep an eye open for it. Check to make sure there are no classes that seem out of place. There could be a problem if advanced physics is on there but you've never taken introductory physics. And if you haven't gotten a copy or have lost it, get a new copy before the first day of class so you know where you're going.

Prepare For Dorm Life

If you're going to be living on campus, get a list of what you are and aren't allowed to bring with you before you even start picking up supplies. Once you have your list, then you can begin getting what you need, like toiletries, bedding, office supplies or even some small appliances, if they're allowed. If you know in advance who your roommate will be, reach out to him or her to see if there are certain items each of you can be responsible for. You don't really need two televisions in one room, so maybe one person can bring a TV for shared use while another can contribute a DVD player.

Find Out About Parking Policies

Each school has their own set of rules for parking on campus. Some don't allow freshmen dorm students to have a car on campus, while others might have restrictions as to which parking lot a commuter can use. Find out what your school's policies are, including what sort of parking pass you might need and how much they cost.

Parents can also help high school grads prepare for college.

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