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The New Frontier

College – the beginning of the frontier……  The New Frontier

In honor of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) FINALLY getting to go to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Sheppard space capsule – albeit just past the Karmen line where space actually begins; this month’s article will boldly go where we haven’t gone before – college planning!  Not to spoil the ending…. just don’t “Kling-on” too tight to your kids when they go off to college – Get it?….  Alright, show’s over!

Seriously, we are going to focus this month on the legal documents and pre-planning your college student needs as they begin this next chapter.   First, make sure that your student files for the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, by going to   All filers need an FSA ID from the Department of Education in order to electronically sign the FAFSA.  

Apply for as many esoteric scholarship opportunities as you can find.  Secondly, look into Tuition Reciprocity programs. These programs allow students to attend an out of state college while paying in-state tuition costs. This link will help you get started as it lists the programs available in different regions of the country.

There are often things that parents forget when their now adult heads off to college.  Simple things that we all take for granted every day, but that may not be top of mind for your newly minted adult.  When your children turn 18, parents lose their ability to access and make medical decisions and choices for their child. Time for you to use the Vulcan Mind Meld with the information we share with you.  These are critical documents that each new college student should have with them before they bolt off at “warp speed” to their new university life.

Health Insurance Cards: Your student will most likely still be on your family insurance policy up and until age 26.  It is essential to make sure that they have a copy of their insurance card either in card form or saved to their iPhone or android phone.  It would be best to have both.

ICE:  We are not talking about something to cool your Kling-on Kool-Aid!  ICE stands for In Case of Emergency.  Your student should have key ICE contact information in their dorm room, apartment and most definitely on their cell phone under ICE in contacts.

Healthcare Directive and Medical Power of Attorney:  This is an incredibly important document.  Your student is now an adult and can make their own decisions.  You, as a parent, can no longer just step in and make decisions for them.  However, if they become incapacitated and can’t act on their own, you, as their parent, need to have the authority to act for them.  Please check with your estate lawyer to ensure that you have the proper healthcare directive and/or Medical Power of Attorney form for your state, as well as the state the student will reside in during college.

Medical Information Sharing Authorization:  Medical information is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly referred to as HIPAA.  This form allows your college student to designate family members and other 3rd parties who can be updated about their medical information during treatment.  It also allows your student’s medical information to be shared between medical providers.  Again, please check with your family lawyer to make sure you have the appropriate form for your state and the state in which your student attends college. 

General Durable Power of Attorney:  This type of Power of Attorney involves financial decisions. It allows for your student to give authority to you, the parents, to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf.  This may involve, managing a checking account, paying bills, filing taxes, etc. 

Even though your student thinks that they are invincible, they aren’t.  You want them to have a great college experience and ‘boldly go where they haven’t gone before.” Having these documents in order will help them have an easier time if something went wrong. 

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions.  Live long and prosper!