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preparing for college

Important Things to Do Before Going to College

Blog Type:  College Prep Date Posted:  Friday, July 20, 2018

Read more posts about Navigating the College Admissions Process for Students with Learning Disabilities

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Now that you've decided what college you will attend, there are several things you need to do and consider to ensure a smooth transition process.

Learning Disability Support

  • Make sure the Disability Services Office has your current testing and all paperwork is completed.
  • Contact support services faculty and introduce yourself.

Sign Up for Classes

  • Think about taking a reduced course load, at least for the first semester.
  • Balance your course load. Be aware of the amount of reading and writing that will be required.

Think About Money

  • You will need access to cash at school. Make a plan. Is there a local ATM you can use? Will you set up an account at a local bank?
  • Discuss a budget and spending plan with your family.
  • Discuss financial responsibility with family and agree on who will pay for which expenses. (Who pays for weekend entertainment? Who pays for books? Who pays for gas?)

Medical Needs

  • Will you need regular medications at school? Develop a plan of how you will renew and fill any prescriptions.
  • Develop a plan to make sure you will remember to take your medications. Practice the plan over the summer.
  • Will you need medical specialists while at school? Talk to the school Health Center to make sure they have connections to local specialist that you will need.

Counseling Support

  • Will you need counseling support?
  • Discuss this with your current counselor and ask for their help in locating a local counselor.
  • Talk with the school about the counseling services on campus.


  • Decide which technology you will use and how you will use it.
  • Practice using any new technology.
  • Think about how you will organize your technology and documents.

Set Up a Reference Notebook

Collect key reference and "How To" sheets and templates and organize into a Reference Notebook. This can include:

  • How to write a note card
  • Steps to a research paper
  • Format of a thesis
  • Essay templates
  • Study guide sheets
  • Graphic organizers

Update Your Contacts

  • Make sure you have contact information for important people at home. This can include grandparents, former teachers, employers, and others.
  • Make sure the Guidance Office is on your contact list.
  • A hand-written thank you note still makes an impression. Purchase a pack of notes and stationery and use them often!

Don’t Forget

  • Make a list of key people.
  • Develop a list of important dates, such as parents, grandparents, and sibling birthdays, and get in the habit of sending a card and making a call on those days!
  • Life will get busy. Schedule a weekly time when you and your parents will talk.

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