Back-to-School Supplies for College

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Back-to-School Supplies for College

Don’t forget about the essential school supplies you’ll need to succeed as you prepare for a new session at college. There are a few essentials that must be purchased before classes start.


1. No. 2 Pencils or Mechanical Pencils

A pencil plays an important role in letting an artist sketch and a student take notes with ease. Mechanical pencils or No. 2 pencils are a must-have for every student.

BIC Xtra-Strong Mechanical Pencil, Colorful Barrel, Thick Point (0.9mm), 24-Count

2. Large Eraser

Stop struggling with eraser smudges and enjoy the clean finish of Pink Erasers. Thanks to a smear-resistant, latex-free design. Classic, pink eraser easily removes pencil marks.

Mr. Pen Pink Pencil Erasers, Large, Pack of 12
Mr. Pen Pink Pencil Erasers, Large, Pack of 12

3. Ballpoint Pens in a Variety of Colors

You’ll still need pens and pencils even if you’re taking notes digitally. Get black, blue, and red ink pens, as well as No. 2 pencils for the scanning test sheets.

Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pens

4. Notebooks or Loose-Leaf Paper

If you prefer paper to digital, get a binder or folder for each course to help you stay organized.

EMSHOI Spiral Notebook College Ruled 4 Pack, 640 Pages A5 lined Journal, Waterproof PVC Hard Cover,

5. Ruler

Dual side measuring ruler, centimeter-scale is on one edge of the ruler and inch scale is on the other edge; Can meet your different measuring needs.

20 Pack Clear Plastic Ruler 12 Inch Straight Ruler Flexible Ruler With Inches and Metric for School Classroom, Home, or Office (Clear)

6. Sticky Notes and Flags

Sticky notes make it easy to attach reminders to nearly any surface. These sheet pads feature colorful and sturdy pages. (Many bookstores buy back books that aren’t too marked up.)

Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 3x3 in, 24 Pads, 2x the Sticking Power, Rio de Janeiro Collection, Bright Colors (Orange, Pink, Blue, Green), Recyclable (654-24SSAU-CP)

Organizational Helpers

1. 3-Hole Punch

This three-hole punch comes in a variety of colors and can punch up to 12 sheets of paper at once. The rubber base provides a stable grip on many surfaces.

BOSTITCH inPRESS 20 Reduced Effort Three-Hole Punch, Silver, Black (2220)

2. Backpack/Messenger Bag

You will undoubtedly require a bag to carry all of your textbooks as well as your laptop around campus. You can choose from a range of bags, including a basic backpack, a messenger bag, a rucksack, a laptop bag, and so on.

Rothco Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag

3. Scotch Tape

Whether in your notebooks, a text, or a poster–use scotch tape to fix up those rips.

Scotch Brand Learning Resources MMM3105 Scotch Magic Tape 3/4 Inch X 300 Inches 3 ea, Translucent (55)

4. Stapler

Always include a little stapler in your backpack in case you need to turn in extra sheets for a class assignment.

Bostitch Office Heavy Duty 40 Sheet Stapler, Small Stapler Size, Fits into the Palm of Your Hand; Black (B175-BLK)

5. Scissors

It’s useful for school and tasks around the house. Whether you’re snipping the tag off a new outfit or cutting up definitions and attaching them to note cards, scissors are a must-have.

Westcott 8" Titanium Bonded Scissors

Study Aids

1. Index Cards (to Make Flashcards)

Using index cards to study is an excellent technique to retain information. Writing subject matter on index cards will help you remember it better, and the cards are portable enough to use as flashcards on the road.

Oxford 31EE Ruled Index Cards

2. Highlighters in a Variety of Colors

For college students, highlighters are a must-have item. Use highlighters to Highlighting to the most important information in your textbooks and notes.

Zebra Pen Mildliner, Double Ended Highlighter, Broad and Fine Tips, Assorted Colors, 15 Pack

3. Schedule/Planner

A student planner is crucial for time management and will help keep you on top of your busy college calendar. (In addition to using a smartphone)

Planner 2021-2022 - Weekly & Monthly 2021-2022 Academic Planner

4. Calculator

(Check class requirements. Students may need graphing calculators for some math and science classes.) You may require a graphing calculator if you are pursuing advanced math and science classes. Otherwise, a scientific calculator should suffice. For specific calculator regulations, check with your main department.

Everplus Calculator, Everplus Electronic Desktop Calculator with 12 Digit Large Display, Solar Battery LCD Display Office Calculator,Black


1. Laptop

For most students, taking college courses without a laptop is unthinkable. A working computer is especially important when addressing the needs of online learners. Considers factors such as price, portability, and technical features while buying a laptop for a college student.

HP Chromebook 14 Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, 14” HD Display, Chrome, Lightweight Computer with Webcam and Dual Mics, Home, School, Music, Movies (14a-na0021nr, 2021)

2. Power Strips

This Addtam power strip support 9 devices charging at the same time with 3 USB-A ports and 6 AC outlets. 6 widely spaced AC outlets can accommodate slightly larger power adapters. The portable power expander has 2 mounting holes and 4 screw fixation design allows you to securely install it.

Power Strip Surge Protector, Addtam 6 Outlets and 3 USB Ports 5Ft Long Extension Cord, Flat Plug Overload Surge Protection Outlet Strip, Wall Mount for Home, Office and More, ETL Listed

3. Extension Cord

This Mountable Power Strip Surge Protector with 3AC outlets and 2 USB Charging Ports is a must-have for every college student. The three-outlet surge protector power strip provides a 6-foot 18AWG power cord for an extended range without creating unnecessary clutter.

USB Power Strip Surge Protector Long Extension Cord 6 feet, 3 Outlets, 2 USB Ports (2.4A/12W), Over Voltage Protection, Mountable Power Strip for Home Office, 1250W/10A, SGS Listed, White

4. Headphones

This Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless Bluetooth headphone is noise-canceling and comes with Alexa Voice Control.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black

5. Wireless Card or Mobile Hotspot

 The next generation of TP-Link’s Archer T6E supports the next generation Wi-Fi standard – IEEE 802. 11AC, offering transfer rates that are 3 times faster than wireless N speeds. Easily upgrade your desktop system by simply slotting the Wi-Fi adapter into an available PCIe slot. 

TP-Link AC1300 PCIe WiFi PCIe Card(Archer T6E)- 2.4G/5G Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter, Low Profile, Long Range, Heat Sink Technology, Supports Windows

Living Supplies

1. Bedding

Give yourself a comfortable and relaxing night’s sleep with this brushed microfiber polyester sheet set. If you’re looking for very soft sheets you have found them! They’re breathable and exceptionally soft. Made you sleep restfully and wake up energetic.

Bed Sheet Set 4 Pieces Brushed Microfiber Luxury Soft Bedding Fade Resistant Full Blush Pink

2. Shower Supplies

Experience the skincare miracle of Egyptian loofah. This natural exfoliating body scrubber buffs away dead skin to revitalize dull, flaky skin and leave you feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed. College students must carry toiletries, towels, flip flops, a caddy with holes in the bottom for drainage to carry toiletries back and forth with them.

Premium Exfoliating Loofah Pad Body Scrubber, Made with Natural Egyptian Shower Loufa Sponge That Gets You Clean, Not Just Spreading Soap (2 Pack)

3. Laundry Supplies

The bundle pack for clean laundry that’s bursting with freshness. Bundle Pack includes (2) 35 count Tide PODS Spring Meadow scent, (2) 34 count Bounce Outdoor Fresh sheets, (1) Downy Unstoppables In-Wash Scent Beads Fresh scent, 14.8 oz(quarters or laundry card, detergent, fabric softener, drying rack, bag/basket/cart for transport)

Tide Pods Laundry Detergent Pacs (2x35ct), Downy Unstopable Scent Beads (14.8 oz) and Bounce Dryer Sheets (2x34ct), Better Together Bundle, 5 Piece Set, Meadow

4. Hangers

These 50 attractive ivory velvet non-slip hangers featuring 360-degree swivel, shiny chrome hooks, and notched shoulders that will make hanging clothes a simple pleasure!

Zober Non-Slip Velvet Hangers - Suit Hangers (50-pack) Ultra Thin Space Saving 360 Degree Swivel Hook Strong and Durable Clothes Hangers Hold Up-To 10 Lbs, for Coats, Jackets, Pants, and Dress Clothes

5. Plastic Cups, Utensils, and Plates

These WDF 25Guest Rose Gold Plastic Plates with Rose Gold Silverware are made from 100% food-grade, non-toxic, BPA-free plastic! This rose gold plastic tableware set is safe you and your guests. Solid, durable, heavy-duty rose gold plates, rose gold plastic silverware, and rose gold cups ensure won’t scratch or break easily.

WDF 25Guest Rose Gold Plastic Plates with Rose Gold Silverware,Rose Gold Cups-include 25 Dinner Plates, 25 Salad Plates, 50 Forks, 25 Knives, 25 Spoons &Plastic Cups/Bonus 25 Mini Forks

6. Water Bottles (Stainless Steel or BPA-Free)

School water bottles are a great way to ensure that you can stay hydrated throughout the day. The food-grade stainless steel construction reduces condensation and resists rust. Finding the right material is key to finding that perfect bottle.

HYDRO CELL Stainless Steel Water Bottle w/ Straw & Wide Mouth Lids (64oz 40oz 32oz 24oz 18oz 14oz) - Keeps Liquids Hot or Cold with Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Sweat Proof Sport Design

7. Can Opener

Designed to relieve unnecessary strain and provide convenience during meal preparation, the Kitchen Mama electric can opener makes opening tins as easy as 1, 2, 3. The can opener is a must-have item for college students.

Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener: Open Your Cans with A Simple Push of Button - No Sharp Edge, Food-Safe and Battery Operated Handheld Can Opener(Red)

8. Small Refrigerator

A mini-fridge is a college necessity whether you live in a dorm or off-campus. This AstroAI mini fridge has features like a 4 Liter/6 Can, AC/DC portable, the thermoelectric cooler is perfect for every college student. (Double-check what size is allowed before purchasing.)

AstroAI Mini Fridge, 9 Liter/12 Can Skincare Fridge AC/DC Small Refrigerator Portable Mother's Day Gift Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer for Skincare, Foods, Bedroom, White

9. Vitamins, Allergy Meds, and Pain Relievers, such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen

St. Joseph Aspirin Pain Reliever, Enteric Safety Coated, Low Dose, Doctor Recommended, 81mg (Tablets), 365 Count

10. Cleaning Wipes

These wipes have a high-tech formula to clean effectively and dry quickly without leaving behind streaks or residue. It eliminates dust and grime easily from your phone, glasses, screens, or other surfaces. The product contains isopropyl alcohol.

Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes | 400 Pre-Moistened and Individually Wrapped Lens Cleaning Wipes

11. Air Fresheners

The luxe scent of Forest is an intriguing blend of musk, aloe, and fragrant bergamot. Spray anytime, anywhere to elevate the ambiance of your kitchen, bathroom, study, and more.

Febreze Air Freshener Spray, Forest, Odor Eliminator, 3 Count

12. Desk Lamp (for a Well-Lit Study Space)

Students will be well-equipped for late-night study sessions with a portable LED desk lamp. Students can use the lamp wirelessly thanks to a rechargeable battery with a USB charging connector.

AFROG Multifunctional LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger, USB Charging Port, 5 Lighting Modes,5 Brightness Levels, Sensitive Control, 30/60 min Auto Timer, Eye-Caring Office Lamp with Adapter

13. Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

High-powered 14.8 V DC motor and advanced cyclone technology enable 8000Pa suction power for high pick-up performance. This Portable Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is light and comfortable to carry the whole machine weighs just 1.9 pounds.

Portable Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, 8000PA Strong Suction, 120W High Power, Wet & Dry Use, Quick Cleaning for Car, House & Office

14. Toolset (Hammer, Screwdriver, Nails, etc.)

The idea of having a mini tool kit for every college-going student is a must-have. There are few basic things that a tool kit for college students should possess like screwdriver sets, hammers, pliers, wrenches that are adjustable and of different sizes, duct tape, knife, and a collection of vivid kinds of screws. 

DEKOPRO 128 Piece Tool Set-General Household Hand Tool Kit, Auto Repair Tool Set, with Plastic Toolbox Storage Case

15. Earplugs

These Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs – Ear Plugs greatly reduce noise levels and fit comfortably in your ear. Perfect for hearing protection in loud environments or for ensuring silence when trying to focus or concentrate. The jar holds 50 Pairs.

Flents Ear Plugs, 50 Pair, Ear Plugs for Sleeping, Snoring, Loud Noise, Traveling, Concerts, Construction, & Studying, NRR 29

16. Extra Storage (Trunk, Storage Boxes)

This grey-colored Lifewit large capacity clothes storage bag organizer features a reinforced handle, thick fabric for comforters, blankets, bedding, foldable with sturdy zipper, clear window. Each storage bag was designed with a capacity of 90L. This storage bag is perfect for every college student.

Lifewit Large Capacity Clothes Storage Bag Organizer with Reinforced Handle Thick Fabric for Comforters, Blankets, Bedding, Foldable with Sturdy Zipper, Clear Window, 3 Pack, 90L, Grey
Lifewit Large Capacity Clothes Storage Bag Organizer with Reinforced Handle Thick Fabric for Comforters, Blankets, Bedding, Foldable with Sturdy Zipper, Clear Window, 3 Pack, 90L, Grey

Nice to Have

1. Board Games

Play the popular Scrabble game the classic way as you take on opponents head-to-head, for a challenging and fun time whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Classic Scrabble game has the letter tiles and game guide for a wordy showdown.

Scrabble Game

2. Deck of Cards

What could be simpler than playing math games with ordinary playing cards? No matter who you are or how you play Everyone’s Got Game with a Bicycle deck of playing cards.

Bicycle Standard Jumbo Playing Cards - Poker, Rummy, Euchre, Pinochle, Card Games

3. Umbrella and Rain Boots

Repel umbrellas are designed with you in mind and built to ensure the ultimate protection and comfort in any weather condition. Measuring just 11 ½ inches long and less than one pound for easy storage in purses, briefcases, backpacks, and more. 

Repel Umbrella Windproof Travel Umbrella - Compact, Light, Automatic, Strong and Portable - Wind Resistant, Small Folding Backpack Umbrella for Rain - Men and Women

4. Photos

College students must have career their family photos with them so that they will feel a home-like environment.

eletecpro 4x6 Picture Frames Set of 4 - Wooden Designs Wall Decor Table Top & Wall Mount Photo Frames Sets for Wall - Vertical & Horizontal - Rustic Home Décor Picture Frame

5. Wall Art (and Adhesive Strips or Hooks)

Forest Reflections is a three-piece that includes one 30×30″ and two 15×30″ panels. This beautiful set features a soft yet colorful forest setting. The art is printed on canvas and lightly gel coated for texture.

Madison Park Wall Art Living Room Décor - Scenery Triptych Canvas Home Accent Modern Dining Bathroom Decoration, Ready to Hang Painting for Bedroom, Multi-Sizes, Natural Forest Reflection, 3 Piece

6. Bulletin Board/Cork Board/Dry Erase Board

Keep track of your schedules by hanging one of these over your workstation. You can use magnets or thumbtacks to keep tickets and coupons visible, or you can hang up fun pictures.

U Brands Cork Bulletin Board, 35"x23" (301U00-01) - Black Wood Frame

This list includes the most commonly required college materials. Check your syllabus for each subject to see whether you’ll need any extra materials.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.