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Is Your Kid Ready for College? Are You?

As the mom of a daughter getting ready to pack up her yoga pants, shower shoes and Ramen noodles, my world has been nothing but calls to the university, FAFSA  forms (if you don’t know what the heck that means, you soon will if you have a child in high school!) and researching student loan interest rates.

So…is she ready? Oh, yeah! Am I ready? Um… kind of.  I mean emotionally, yeah, I’m ready for her to get out on her own. (And she’s really not going far – 30 minutes down the interstate.)  But what I’m not ready for is all the prep work.  I feel like I just recovered from her graduation party. So what else do we need to do before she leaves?

 Here are my top tips as I go through this pre-college process:

  • Get your auto insurance situated. Is your child taking a car to school? Or is he or she leaving it at home? It it’s the latter, talk to you insurance agent— you can probably save some money since the car won’t be driven for a certain amount of time. And if the car IS going to college, remind your young driver that insurance usually follows the car (not the driver).
  • Order that girl some pepper spray. Stay safe out there. A can of pepper spray is small enough to hook onto a key chain or lanyard.  Or consider a safety whistle or a personal security key chain alarm--lots of different types are available. (Our college security department suggests this option since pepper spray could be used against the student if it falls into the wrong hands.) Whichever device you  choose gives mom and dad some peace of mind.
  • Shop for dorm stuff early. Looking for a pink leopard print comforter? Get shopping because things get picked over. And get your credit card ready—it’s no cheap date, says the mom who just dropped several hundred dollars at Target! Shop around – sometimes you can find the best deals online. Just make sure to shop safe online.
  • Cut the clutter. Work with your young adult to clean his or her room , including closets that haven’t been touched since the 7th grade. Make piles – what will be moving on to college life, what can be trashed, what can be donated and what can be stored. Take only what you need. It’ll make move-in day much easier.
  • Talk to your student. Remind her to always lock the dorm doors. Kids are typically carefree, but theft is a real thing in colleges.  Does your student have expensive computer equipment? If so, it’s good to know that it’s generally protected in the dorm under a parents’ homeowners policy.  (Even still, talk to your agent to be sure.)

If your student is not new to the college scene and is living off campus in an apartment, he or she will probably need a renters insurance policy. Talk to an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent in your community to learn about your options and get a free quote.

Congratulations on successfully getting your kids this far–the rest is up to them.

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