A University Checklist for First-Time College Students

Boxes being checked off with green signs Students who are considering a new college career have several things to account for when entering their new educational institution. Florida National University (FNU) has compiled a checklist of the most important details first-time college students should maintain and complete. Here are just a few of what students should take care of prior to beginning their college career:

  1. Review Your Application Status

Before preparing for college by completing the next tips, the first and most important thing to do is to check the status of your application. Then, you can move forward. After applying to more than one university, you will have to narrow down your options by picking your first choice.

  1. Meet with an Advisor and Choose Your Classes

Don’t forget to pick your classes! Meet with an advisor to determine which direction you’d like to take and to find the best classes to prepare you for your future career choice.

  1. Apply for Scholarships

This can begin well before you even enroll in classes. In fact, it may come as a surprise to some, but there are a number of scholarship winnings that can follow students throughout their educational career until college. Some students obtain scholarships toward the end of their high school career while some decide to apply once they are already in a program. There is no wrong way to do this—and it’s never too early or too late to begin the search for an applicable scholarship. You never know what you might qualify for, so don’t be afraid to start researching! Keep in mind that scholarships are based on merit, need, and everything in between—even the color of your eyes or your middle name! Don’t immediately write yourself off from earning a scholarship if you don’t check the options first.

  1. Apply for Financial Aid

Once you verify that you have been accepted into a program, it’s time to start considering financial aid. Completely separate from scholarship earnings, financial aid helps students afford college. This might be done with grants or loans. Students who live in homes that are in the lower bracket of annual income earnings might be able to apply for and obtain grants such as the Pell Grant. This does not need to be repaid. On the other hand, loans must be repaid to the lender after one’s education has been completed or is otherwise ended. There are two types of loans—subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not acquire interest while a student is enrolled in classes. However, unsubsidized loans acquire interest even while students are in school. Therefore, subsidized loans are a great choice for students who will require the acquisition of loans to obtain their education (as most students do). All federal student loans include a 6-month grace period. In this time after graduation or otherwise ending their enrollment, students are not required to make payments on their loan. Do you still have questions about how it works? Learn all about student loans and financial aid by referring to Florida National University’s (FNU) financial aid page.

  1. Get Your Apartment Ready

If you are moving out for the first time or you are relocating to a place closer to school, you’ll want to have your apartment fully intact before the school year starts. Get set up with furniture, decorations, and all necessities well before school starts so that you will feel properly settled in before the big day.

  1. Buy Your Books Promptly

Some students wait until the first day of class to buy books. We don’t suggest this, as it can result in higher book prices. The faster and earlier students purchase books, the higher chance they have of finding used books, which are known to run cheaper than brand new textbooks.

  1. Go Over Your Finances and Make a Budget

Once you’ve gotten the books out of the way, it’s time to start your budget. It might be useful to set a budget on a semester-by-semester basis. That way, you can account for the cost of a new semester (i.e. books) while also analyzing, maintaining, and maybe even reducing other costs (i.e. gas, rent, groceries, eating out). Setting and maintaining a budget is the first step toward successfully starting a semester. Once a student becomes stressed about finances, they are more likely to feel stressed out throughout the day—and they might not sleep well! By having one’s finances in order, a student is making the proactive decision to be responsible and potentially stress-free! Are You Ready to Get Started? Now that you know the first steps to take after being accepted, it’s time to get the process started. Apply to FNU today to help make your future career dreams a reality.