The summer before college is exciting for high school students, but preparing for a big step like starting college can be stressful on the student and the parents. The first month of college is crucial in a student’s life, and the Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma wants to help you plan and prepare.
Being prepared for the first month of college can be vital to a student’s success. It is normal to be nervous about college life, and the burdens can seem to pile up quickly: finances, living situation, and gathering all of your school supplies. Planning can make a huge difference.
Tuition for college is a scary burden to address. Public college cost an average $39,000 for four years, and private college average at $134,000. Making sure you are in control of your finances will help you stay on track for important things like college tuition later.
- Plan a budget. Start by making a list of all the potential costs going into college. This would include costs not covered by financial aid, scholarships, and grants given by the school. If textbooks and school supplies aren’t taken care of, put those things first and figure out what all of that will cost you.
- Set up an emergency fund. It is important to plan for any type of emergency situations that may occur. When possible, set aside some money in an emergency fund to maintain some security in case you become overwhelmed.
- Talk about smart spending. While putting together a budget, consider not just what you want to buy but the price as well. College students want to find the best things with the greatest value and spend as little money as possible. Only buy the items that are a priority for college.
Another important factor is living situations. Many aspects come into play when determining where to live your first year of college: cost of living, proximity to campus, and determining a good number of roommates for your needs.
Things to Consider Before Finding a Place to Live:
- Be wary of ads that sound too good to be true. A great deal for low-cost living may be advertised fraudulently by scammers as a way of getting money. If an ad seems like too good of a deal, it is best to avoid it and look elsewhere.
- Effectively communicating with the landlord is vital. If the landlord managing the property is not in the area and only communicates through email, the person could potentially be a scammer.
- If the landlord wants money wired to them, it could be a set up. There is a chance you could lose that money forever. Insist on paying in person or with a credit card where you have proof of fraudulent activity.
Among other factors, paying for college and finding a place to live rank among the most important, and being prepared for these two things can determine the success of the school year. If you have any concerns about college finances, housing, or other needs consult your university’s financial aid or student services offices. For more information about a business of company visit oklahomacity.bbb.org.
Contributed by Maddie Mitchell, Communications Strategist
Maddie Mitchell is a junior studying public relations and international studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, and a graduate of Yukon High School. She enjoys writing about tips and tricks for all occasions, and the books she can frequently be found reading.