A good support system goes a long way, especially for first-year students. It's difficult enough adapting to a new academic environment, where classes are more difficult and one has to adjust to an independency level they haven't encountered before. It can also be challenging not having mom and dad around to help you deal with any issues that crop up involving healthcare and finances. However, there's no need to fret. The good news is that most schools have an array of services available to help students tackle these issues

Healthcare Services

Many colleges offer basic healthcare services. This is especially true at universities that include medical programs and teaching hospitals. Even smaller colleges often offer a clinic. For basic ailments and checkups, the on-campus clinic can provide you with access to a professional who can prescribe medications, offer specialist referrals and sign physical wellness forms. You are also likely to find mental health help, including counseling from qualified professionals.
Depending on availability and campus policy, you might be able to access basic care for free or for an affordable fee at the campus clinic. Many healthcare services also accept insurance plans. Remember that you can remain on your parents' insurance until age 26 (as long as you meet certain requirements). Older students and those without health insurance might be able to get a low-cost student plan from the school.


The campus library offers a number of resources that can help you with your class projects. You can find a quiet place to study, including group rooms that can be reserved for projects. Many campus libraries offer access to scholarly articles and participate in inter-library loan, so if you can't find something at your location, you can request it elsewhere. It's also usually possible to check out textbooks and course materials, helping you reduce the cost of your education. Printing, copying and binding services are also usually available at the library.

Career Center

Most campuses include a career center. Many local companies have ties with the college, so it's possible to see who offers summer jobs, or who offers flexible hours for students. In some cases, you can also get help creating your resume and honing your interviewing skills. A career center can also help you obtain letters of recommendation and line up an internship for college credit. Most of these services are covered as part of the fees you pay to attend, so you probably won't need to pay a separate fee.

Academic Adviser

Chances are that you've been assigned to an academic adviser who can guide you through your class schedule. This is a valuable resource. Get help as you choose the right classes to ensure that you graduate on time in the major of your choice. The academic adviser you have for your major usually has connections to internships and can help you find one related to your major. This is a free service that comes with your college attendance.


Having trouble with some of your classes? Most campuses use upper-level students approved by their professors to provide insight and help, and some schools may also employ tutors, depending on the subject matter. If you need help with composition, you can find tutors in the writing lab, and the sciences and math departments will also have tutoring labs. These services can usually be accessed for free, but some schools might ask that you pay a small, affordable fee if you plan to use the lab more than one or two times

Computer Lab

Most campuses house a computer lab. If you don't have your own computer or laptop, use the computer lab to complete your homework. In some programs, you might need to access specific software that isn't cheaply available to the general public. The school computer lab provides free access to these programs and to the Internet.You might also have a printer allowance with your paid tuition and fees. You don't need your own printer in these cases. Once you exceed your page limit, though, you might be charged for what you print.

Did You Know?

Interested in Private Student Loans?

Learn More