A College Checklist of Checklists

Barry Lenson

College Checklist When my daughter was applying to college, she needed a checklist to keep track of her applications. College A required a supplemental essay in addition to the one that was on the Standard Application, for example, and College B wanted to see an actual term paper she had written. Without a checklist, who could keep track of that stuff?

Then when she got into college, she needed checklists for stuff that she would have in her dorm room, for her clothes, for shampoo and goo, for computer peripherals.

Details, details! That’s why it makes sense to create not just one college checklist, but a checklist of checklists that you will need as a college student. Complicated? Yes. But it might help, so here goes . . .

Checklists You Need when Applying to College 

  • A checklist of unusual extras you have to submit to the colleges where you are applying. As noted above, some colleges want “out of the ordinary” stuff, like four letters of recommendation instead of three, or a copy of a term paper that was graded by one of your high school teachers. Without a checklist, you’re likely to bobble some detail.
  • A financial aid checklist.  There are different deadlines for submitting the FAFSA, for applying for financial aid directly from colleges – the details go on and on. Plus, you have to submit tax returns, pay stubs and other documents to different places in different ways. A checklist of all that information can really help.
  • A checklist of dates pertaining to standardized tests. It should list test dates, dates when fees are due, dates when scores are reported to colleges, and more.

Checklists You Need Before Arriving at Campus 

  • A checklist of cosmetics and medications. If you take prescription medications, you should note any that need doctor’s renewals before you can get refills after you arrive at school.
  • A checklist of things you need for your dorm room. If you will have a roommate, you will coordinate your list with him or her so you don’t end up with two dorm fridges.
  • A checklist of documents that you should take with you to college. They could include high school transcripts, immigration documents, physician’s letters that explain special dietary needs, and more.
  • A checklist of financial information and documentation. Chances are that most of this information will be available to you online. But if not, you’ll need a list of bank account numbers, toll-free numbers for your bank, and more.
  • A checklist of clothing that you will take with you. If you’re going to college in Minnesota, your list could include all kinds of warm coats and boots that you do not already own. If you’re off to Hawaii or Florida, you might need to add some lighter-weight clothing.

A Checklist You Need as Graduation Gets Closer 

  • A checklist of all the courses that you have taken to fulfill your graduation requirements.  It can help you be sure that you will really be able to walk up and claim that diploma that you have earned.  It can also help you be sure that your college has not made mistakes on your transcript and omitted classes that you really did take. Colleges really to make mistakes on students’ transcripts. A checklist can help you get the credit that is rightfully yours.

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