As your high school graduate prepares to make the move from home to dorm, keep this checklist of college school supplies and bedding handy.

Printable of college school supplies and bedding PDF

Basic college school supplies

  • No. 2 pencils or mechanical pencils
  • Large eraser
  • Ballpoint pens in a variety of colors for note taking
  • Notebooks or loose-leaf notebook paper
  • Ruler with English and metric measurements
  • Sticky notes and flags (Many bookstores will allow students to sell back books that haven’t been written in or highlighted; use these tools to mark important passages and make notes in books without writing in them!)


Organizational helpers

  • Three-hole punch
  • Backpack/messenger bag
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • Scissors (It’s smart to buy one large pair and one smaller, craft size pair.)


Study aids

  • Index cards (Great for making flashcards.)
  • Highlighters in a variety of colors
  • Calculator (Check class requirements before investing in an expensive one. Graphing calculators, for example, are required in many college math and science classes.)
  • Schedule/planner (While students may use their smartphones to set reminders about due dates, class times, and appointments, a hard copy can still come in handy.)


Basic bedding and living supplies

  • Bedding
  • Roll of quarters or loaded laundry card (depending on what your school requires.)
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry tote (The laundry room may be a hike from their room.)
  • Hangers
  • Drying rack for laundry
  • Plastic cups, utensils, and plates
  • Water bottles
  • Pitcher
  • Can opener
  • Small refrigerator (Double check what size is allowed before purchasing.)
  • Vitamins, allergy meds, and pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Air fresheners
  • Flip flops or other shoes to wear in the shower
  • Case for carrying toiletries to and from the shower (Choose one that has holes in the bottom for drainage.)
  • Desk lamp for a well-lit study space
  • Handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Tool set (This should include the basics, such as a hammer, screwdriver, and nails.)
  • Ear plugs
  • Extra storage, like a trunk or storage boxes



  • Laptop
  • Printer (Most schools allow students access to printers; if so, this item may be unnecessary.)
  • USB flash drive (To make yours recognizable, find ones fitting your personality.)
  • Power strips
  • Extension cords
  • Headphones
  • Wireless Internet Card or Mobile Hotspot — compare before deciding — to get online anywhere


Fun stuff

  • Board games
  • Deck of cards
  • Umbrella and rain boots
  • Photos
  • Wall art (and adhesive strips or hooks)
  • Bulletin board/cork board/dry erase board (and necessary accessories)
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