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Getting Ready for College Series Day Two: Are Your Ducks in a Row?

Taking the right steps now to be prepared down the road

By Professional Organizer, Kim Salisbury

Let’s make sure all the important stuff is done.  Here are a few tips so you’re prepared for future eventualities when moving your child into the dorms and college life for the first time. 5 Things to check off your list now. 

1. Shots & Vaccinations

Make sure all shots and vaccination records are uploaded to their college. There is a specific meningitis vaccine that you have to have at many schools before you can move into the dorms.

2. AP Test Scores Registered

Double check that their AP test scores have arrived. There is a box you have to check when you take the tests, and if you don’t, scores might not be sent. If this happens, you will need to pay a small fee and have them sent, but it will most likely be too late for the scores to eliminate any classes for the first semester. 

3. 504 Plan Management

Many people don’t know that while an IEP ends at high school graduation, a student’s 504 plan will carry through college. However, the 504 plan does not automatically transfer.

Once they are enrolled in college, parents can no longer handle it for their kids. The student has to obtain the 504 from their high school, and transfer it themselves to their college. They can contact the office for students with disabilities if they need help.

This is a great time to teach kids to advocate for themselves. Doing so will set them up for success.

4. Healthcare Plan Status

Many parents don’t realize that you have to manually go into the system and waive the campus healthcare plan if you don’t want to pay upwards of $3,500 a year. Obviously, it can be a good option if they need the insurance.

However, if you plan to keep them on your health insurance, then you don’t need to be paying double. The schools don’t make it easy to waive it, so be prepared to spend some time uploading all your insurance information, etc.

5. Power of Attorney

Lastly, look into durable power of attorney. As soon as your child turns 18, three important changes occur. First, parents no longer possess the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of their child. Second, financial autonomy.

Parents will no longer have the right to discuss tuition payments, student loans, do they need help paying credit cards, etc. Finally, Privacy and HIPAA. Insurance companies will not discuss account details with parents after age 18.