You may be living on your own for the first time when you go to college — but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Most colleges offer campus services that students can use when they need help with personal, social, health, financial or other issues. Here are some examples of what you might find.
Dorms and other campus housing options usually have resident advisers (RAs). These are generally college juniors or seniors who live in the dorm and act as counselors, among other roles. Your RA can talk with you about any issues you’re having, in or out of class, and direct you to other campus services that can provide help.
If you're having a tough time coping with stress, speaking with a mental health counselor at your college can help. Counselors can also help if you feel isolated or depressed or have other personal issues you want to work through. Colleges generally offer free counseling for a set number of sessions or semesters. If you need more than that, they can refer you to off-campus mental health professionals.
The doctors and nurses at on-campus health centers provide medical services and education. They can treat illness and injury, give immunization shots and perform medical tests.
At most colleges, you can get counseling from members of the clergy. Some campuses have representatives from many different religions.
Financial Aid Office
Financial aid officers can help explain your financing and loan options. They are experts at finding ways to pay for school and can introduce you to strategies you may not have considered. They can also answer questions about the Federal Work-Study Program, a program that offers some students the chance to have a part-time job as part of their financial aid package.
Information Technology Support
As a college student, you’ll rely on computers, Wi-Fi and other technologies. Staff members are available at most colleges to help you with your Internet connection and network access to keep you online and on track.
Career centers offer tests that can help you find careers that match your interests, and they provide information about the types of jobs available to graduates in your field. The centers offer guidance on writing résumés and practicing for job interviews and often aid students seeking their first job after graduation. They usually maintain a job board and other employment resources. Colleges often allow graduates to return to use these resources if they need them later in their careers.
Your college may have special services for commuters — students who don’t live on campus. These may include student lounges, help finding off-campus housing, commuter parking and clubs for older adult students.
Other Student Services
Many colleges offer services for students with special circumstances. Examples include international students, students with disabilities, students with children and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.