Five Tips for a Smooth Transition to College
May 1, College Decision Day, has passed. If you're one of many students who recently decided where to attend school in the fall -- or you have someone in your life who recently made this decision -- congratulations!

To help make the transition to college as smooth as possible, we've put together the following tips. It all starts with good communication between student and parent. Much of the information the school sends is only sent to the student (often via email), so be sure to share as needed.
1. Attend orientation
Most schools offer a new student orientation so that students can meet new classmates, familiarize themselves with the campus, finalize unfinished business and learn about important resources. 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 registration may consist of filling out a paper form, 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 the Admissions Office or your specific academic department.
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 typically arrive by early July and are due in late July or early August. Some schools send paper bills, while others only send bills electronically. Check to see if you have access to your student account in the school's online portal.

If you have questions about financial aid or are struggling to pay the bill, contact the Financial Aid Office. You can also visit the When the Award Isn't Enough section of our website.

If all other options have been exhausted and you are looking for information on borrowing additional loans, visit
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 disbursed. These tasks can be completed online at
  • Housing Forms and Deposits: Make sure you have completed housing forms and submitted your housing deposit.
  • Health Forms and Insurance Waivers: Schools require students to submit health forms before they are allowed to move onto campus or start classes. Additionally, because students are required to have health insurance, most schools automatically bill students for the school's insurance. If you have insurance through your parents, provide proof of insurance and waive the school insurance by the 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 from high school to college can feel overwhelming 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. We'll be here all summer and are happy to help in any way we can! You can reach us by:
Wondering what you may have missed? Check out  previous issues of 5 on the 5th.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor 
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor 
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Jennifer Lanphear, Education Programs Officer
Want More Information?

Join us on Wednesday, May 10th at 10:00 a.m. for this month's free Wednesday Webinar, Tips for a Smooth Transition to College. FAME's College Access and Outreach Manager, Mila Tappan,  will discuss the necessary next steps, including attending orientation, registering for classes, finalizing financial aid, and paying the bill. Mila will also offer helpful hints and suggestions to eliminate problems and get answers to questions that might arise.
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