7 Essentials to Pack with Your College Student

From insurance cards and emergency funds to jumper cables and rain boots, is your student supplied with everything he or she will need at school?

Be proactive when it comes to making sure your student has these often overlooked supplies and you’ll be ahead of the curve. We’ve put together a convenient checklist to help ensure you and your child are prepared for the unexpected.

1. Insurance cards: Double-check that your child has a copy of all appropriate insurance cards, which may include health or auto coverage.

2. Jumper cables and auto supplies: If your child is taking a car to campus, stock it with a flashlight, jumper cables and anything else that might help in case of car trouble. This may also be a good time to consider joining a roadside assistance program like AAA for some extra peace of mind (and member discounts).

3. Personal checks: Some on-campus associations prefer to receive checks for payment of membership fees and dues. For students living off campus, checks are usually the payment method of choice for deposits and rent paid to residential companies. Before sending them to school with blank checks, discuss with your child the basics of balancing a checkbook or open a personal checking account for the student.

4. Copies of important documents: Throughout your child’s college career, they may encounter situations that require proof of identification such as a birth certificate (either a notarized copy or the original document), Social Security card or passport. It is a good idea for students to have copies of these stored in a secure place if needed.

5. Rain gear: Durable outerwear is essential for wet or cold days walking to every corner of campus. Consider waterproof footwear, a rain jacket and umbrella when sending your child off to school.

6. Prepaid debit card, student credit card or gas card: Have a conversation with your child about rules for using these cards. Set limits and make sure they are met. It may be helpful to share examples of situations that are and are not appropriate uses of these funds.

7. Emergency kit: Collect supplies to store in your child’s car or dorm in case of severe weather or other emergencies. You may want to include a list of important contact information, a weather radio and basic first aid kit.

Sending a child off to college is hectic, but being prepared for the unexpected will make it easier – and give you and your student peace of mind.


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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.