1. Have a contingency fund for unforeseen expenses.
In addition to all of the “normal” school expenses, while moving your student, you may come across some expenses that you didn’t plan for: you may find that you need to purchase supplies for decorating and setting up your student’s room, purchasing parking a permit, a mailbox rental, miscellaneous class supplies, and purchasing books can all add up and students will not have access to their financial aid funds until after school starts, so bring some extra funds or make a contingency plan.
2. Talk about your expectations – especially regarding school communications.
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It requires Gonzaga to send communications directly to the student. We use email as our official form of communication and send all emails to the student’s ZagMail account. So make sure that your student understands that they need to share that information with you. Families who help us emphasize the importance of checking, reading, and sharing ZagMail information generally have a better college experience as they spend less time stressing and worrying about missed deadlines and opportunities.
3. Finding scholarship opportunities.
Throughout the year we learn about new scholarship opportunities. Notices about them and other announcements about upcoming deadlines are sent in the Morning Mail. (A daily email sent to students.) Scholarship opportunities can also be found on our online Scholarship Search. Another good place to look is in the Academic Department as most have a location where they will post information about scholarship opportunities that they are aware, so have your student talk with their academic advisor or professors to find out where they should look.
4. Develop a budget with your student.
If your student is living on campus and has a meal plan, they probably won’t have a huge need for additional funds. Help them determine what they can afford to spend on entertainment, clothes, eating out, and transportation. Students who are managing their funds for the first time and without a budget can find themselves short of funds before the end of the semester. They will be amazed by how much farther their money goes when they have a budget. And since life is unpredictable, don’t forget to put some funds aside for those unexpected expenses. Websites like www.mint.com and www.moneystrands.com