set of forms. If possible, complete your taxes in
February; most colleges require tax returns in
order to determine aid. After taxes are filed and
paid, you can upload the information to colleges
through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, available
through the FAFSA website.
In late March/early April, start making frequent visits to your family’s mailbox.
Amazingly, in this highly technological age,
rejections or acceptances still arrive by mail.
Financial aid packages are usually included
with acceptances. If it’s good news, that
takes you to the next step: May 1, “National
Candidate Reply Date.” This is the day you
send in your child’s acceptance, along with a
A Month Before They Leave
Four words: Bed, Bath and Beyond. Seriously.
Some genius came up with the idea of setting
up a college registry, just like a bridal regis-
try. After you receive the list of what you need
for your child’s dorm room, head to your local
Bed, Bath and Beyond, where an employee will
guide you through the store and log all of your
purchases into a computer. These items will
then be waiting for you and your new college
student at the store closest to your chosen
school when you arrive. It’s that simple.
Once They Leave
Relax. Your job is done. You can melt into a deck
chair, have a glass of wine and try to forget that
you are spending thousands of dollars educating
a kid who is probably now upside down in a bar.
Just don’t convert the spare bedroom to a gym
yet — they’ll be home before you know it. M