College Forms: A Guide for Incoming Freshmen

Are you ready for college? While you may have thought that you were done with paperwork after graduating high school, the reality is that forms are still a part of the college experience.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential forms that incoming freshmen need to complete and submit before the deadlines. From dorm preferences to meal plans and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

1. College Housing: Finding Your Home Away from Home

One of the first forms you’ll encounter is the college housing form. If you’re planning to live on campus, this is a crucial step. Most colleges offer a variety of dorm options, including themed housing (such as healthy living or arts-focused), same-sex dorms, and dorms based on academic interests.

Take the time to explore the descriptions of each dorm and its location on the college’s website. The housing form may also ask for your roommate preferences, so think about who you’d like to live with.

2. Meal Plan: Fueling Your College Journey

Meal plans are a vital part of college life. Most schools offer a range of options to cater to various dietary preferences, including vegetarian and other diet-specific choices. Keep in mind that some colleges require freshmen to select the full meal plan initially and allow flexibility in subsequent years. Check the college website for more information on the available meal plans.

3. Orientation: Making a Smooth Transition

Orientation is an integral part of starting your college journey. Some schools offer orientation sessions throughout the summer and require you to submit a form selecting which session you’d like to attend. Specific dates can fill up quickly, so it’s important to submit this form as early as possible.

If your school doesn’t have summer orientation sessions, don’t worry. Many colleges hold orientation for all freshmen the week before classes begin. Stay informed about the orientation dates and make sure to mark them on your calendar.

4. FERPA: Granting Parental Access

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), once you turn 18 or attend a postsecondary institution, your parents’ rights to access your educational records transfer to you. However, you have the option to grant them access by signing a consent form.

This form allows your parents to access important information like tuition bills and grades. Make sure to discuss this form with your parents and decide if you’d like to give them access.

5. Medical Forms: Prioritizing Your Health

Taking care of your health is crucial for a successful college experience. Most colleges require several health forms, including a medical history, immunization records, physical exam documentation, TB screening results, proof of health insurance, and consent forms. Student-athletes may also have additional requirements.

To ensure a smooth process, visit your doctor before starting college and gather all the necessary information. Refer to the college’s website for a detailed list of the required medical forms.

6. Tuition Payment Plan: Managing Your Finances

Paying for college can be a financial challenge, but many schools offer tuition payment plans to alleviate the stress. These plans allow you to make smaller monthly payments instead of paying a lump sum each semester or quarter. Some colleges, such as Rutgers and Northwestern, administer their own tuition payment plans. Check with your school to see if this option is available and take advantage of it to better manage your finances.


Remember, this list is not exhaustive, and each college may have additional forms specific to their requirements. Stay informed by regularly checking the school’s website for updates and important announcements. By completing and submitting all the necessary forms on time, you’ll ensure a smooth transition into college life and set yourself up for success.

So, embrace the world of college forms! Take charge of your responsibilities, discuss the forms with your parents, and get ready to embark on an exciting academic journey. Good luck!

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