June 2021
Five Tips for a Smooth Transition to College

Are you planning to attend a new school in the fall – or do you have someone in your life who recently made this decision? If so, congratulations! It’s an exciting time that holds so much promise and potential!
 
To help make the transition as smooth as possible, we've put together the following tips. It starts with good communication – both between the school and the student and between the student and parent. Many schools communicate only with the student and send most of the information via email to the student’s school email account. Be sure to share information as needed and follow up on questions! 
1. Attend orientation
New student orientation is a great way to learn more about your academic program, connect with new people, finalize unfinished business, and learn about important resources. Depending on the school, orientation might be in-person, virtual, or a combination of the two. Attendance is highly recommended, if not mandatory, as the experience and information shared lay the foundation for a successful transition.
2. Register for Classes 
The class registration process is different at each school, and may happen before, during or after orientation. At some schools, your academic department might register you for courses, while other schools have students register online. Be sure you understand the process at your school so you can get into your desired classes. If you have questions, contact your academic department, the Admissions Office, or the Registrar’s Office.
3. Pay your Bill  
No one looks forward to paying the bill, but doing so on time will prevent late fees and additional stress. Bills are typically sent in late June and are due in late July or early August. Some schools send paper bills, while others send an email notifying you that your bill is available in your student portal. Check now to see if you have access to your student account in your school's online portal.
 
If you have questions about financial aid, have had a change in your financial situation, or are struggling to pay the bill, contact the Financial Aid Office.
 
If you’ve exhausted all other options, including paying some or all of the bill through a tuition payment plan, and are looking for information on borrowing additional loans, visit TheLoanforME.com.
4. Complete required forms and processes 

  • Student Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note: If borrowing a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before funds can be released to your school. These tasks can be completed online at StudentAid.gov.

  • Housing Forms and Deposits: Make sure you have completed housing forms and submitted your housing deposit.

  • Health Forms and Insurance Waivers: Most schools require students to submit health forms before they are allowed to move onto campus or start classes. Also, many schools automatically bill students for the school's health insurance. If you already have insurance, waive the school insurance by the school’s deadline so the fee can be removed from your bill.
5. Purchase your books 
Once you have registered for classes, your school is required to provide a list of books needed for each class. If you are unsure what books you need, contact the school's bookstore (and be sure to have a copy of your schedule handy). Visit the Reducing College Costs section of our website for tips to help you save money on books.
The transition to college can feel stressful at times -- you aren't alone in that feeling! If you need help and don't know who to call, start with your school's Admissions Office or contact us. Not only is FAME staff trained in this field, but many are also parents of college students or recent students themselves. We'll be here all summer and want to help in any way we can!
 
  • Calling 1-800-228-3734 | TTY: 207-626-2717 (M-F, 8 AM to 4:30 PM)
  • Emailing Education@FAMEmaine.com
  • Schedule a free, individualized virtual appointment with a financial aid expert here
  • Sign up for timely reminder texts and tips from FAME
Want more information about transitioning to College?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:


Wednesday, June 9, 2021
1:00–2:00 p.m.

No matter which path students choose after high school, or how much time has passed, there are strategies that can help ensure a positive transition to whatever comes next. In this webinar, we will discuss success strategies for starting or returning to college, entering the workforce, maximizing time off from school, and more. You will leave with tips and resources to help students and families pave the pathway to their educational goals.
For additional helpful information and resources, find previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Maria MacDougal, College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor
Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
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