Preparing for college, a breakdown and guide to your first year - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Preparing for college, a breakdown and guide to your first year

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As summer is winding down, school shopping is about to begin. But how does someone prepare for their first year of college? Well, we here at Wake Up Montana have a complete guide of what to bring to your dorm room.

Going to college can be a stressful time, so as you’re packing up your car here is a checklist that will make things a little easier.

  1. Room essentials: These are items that you absolutely need to fill in your dorm room. Sheets, blankets, comforter and a mattress pad. Dorm beds can be uncomfortable so a mattress pad will help a lot. You also need a desk lamp, garbage can, shower shoes and a shower caddy.
  2. Food:  Well if your dorm allows microwaves; Make sure it’s fewer than 700 watts and you’ll want a mini fridge no bigger than 3 cubic feet. When it comes to food think pantry basics like popcorn, soup, oatmeal and top ramen.
  3. School Supplies: you will need desk supplies, pens, scissors and a stapler. You will need a laptop or desktop computer, if you don’t have a computer you can use computers at the library. Flash drives, a printer and a backpack.

Also, don’t forget to bring important paperwork like your health insurance and driver’s license.

On average, the annual cost for is more than 23 thousand dollars. But how does an average family afford that? Let’s break it down.

In a chart posted by CNN, most of the money comes from scholarships, on average, 8,390 dollars of it. Loans take up 6,370 dollars of it and a little over 5,500 dollars comes from parent’s income and savings. The student will spend around 2,500 dollars from his or her savings and then add another thousand or so from relatives and friends.

The largest source of income is scholarships and grants which you do not have to pay back. They cover around 35 percent of the bill. Every year scholarships are left unfilled and free money goes to waste. Make sure you are filling out applications for scholarships! It’ll save you a lot.

After speaking with a spokesperson at MSU, he said that there are many options available to help you get involved and manage your finances. He says student orientation, financial services and work study are all provided. 

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