15 School Supplies for College You Can’t Forget

This post is all about school supplies for college that students can’t forget!

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Back to school shopping is just around the corner! If you’re an early bird you probably already started.

When you go to the school supplies section of Target, Walmart, or wherever you shop, it can be very overwhelming. There’s a bunch of stuff everywhere and a lot of it looks very shiny and pretty and makes you think you need it all.

Well, this post is going to show you all the school supplies for college that you actually need.

I definitely used all of these throughout my 4 years at college.

Affiliate links are used ~ meaning that *at no cost to you* I may earn a commission if you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


School Supplies for College:

1. Pens

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Who would’ve thought you’d need something to write with? Lol, just kidding.

You definitely need pens in college. I absolutely love these because they feel really smooth when you write.


2. Scissors

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Definitely get at least 2 pairs of scissors. I lost the first one so I had to go out and get another.

Scissors will come in handy when you have some unexpected crafts to do for class. If you’re living on campus and you have a kitchen in your dorm, you’ll also definitely need scissors to open your food sometimes.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to open things when I lost my scissors. Keep one in your room, and keep the other in your kitchen.


3. Dry erase markers

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You probably overlooked this one.

I lived in a residence hall that had study rooms on each floor with dry erase tables (loved them!!). This made my studying more effective because I could draw diagrams and work problems on the table while studying.

They’ll also come in handy when you’re studying in the library. Some private rooms in the library may have whiteboards you can use to help with your studies. Having your own dry erase markers will save you a trip to the front desk to get some.

Lastly, you could also even score some points with your professor if you have a dry erase marker on hand when theirs dries out!

Related: 30+ Dorm Room Storage Ideas to Maximize Your Space


4. Calculator

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Whether you’re a quantitative major or not, you’re going to need a calculator.

You’re going to have to take a bunch of general education courses in your freshman and sophomore years of college. It’s highly likely one of them is going to be a math class.


5. Three-hole punch

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If you’re going to be using binders to keep your notes for class, I’d highly recommend getting a three-hole punch.

Instead of stuffing all of your handouts in a separate folder, use the three-hole punch to keep it with your notes.

Related: 12 Essential Items Every College Student Needs to Get Through the Semester


6. Laptop

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One of the most important school supplies for college you need to have!

Some professors may actually require that you bring a laptop to every class (I’ve had a few of those). This is because some classes use online programs or websites to store the notes or have tests and quizzes.

Having a laptop is also more convenient because you can get your work done from just about anywhere.

If you don’t have a laptop just yet, you can check your school’s library to see if they have any on hand to lend to students.


7. Laptop bag/case

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You’re going to need a durable laptop case for protection.

I wouldn’t recommend just carrying around your laptop without one. Especially if you carry food or liquids in your backpack as well.

This one is great because it’s padded and it’s waterproof.


8. Folders

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I’d recommend getting a few folders to keep extra papers for class, student organizations, and any other extracurricular activities you engage in.

You may also need to store important handouts from programs on campus like study abroad information or scholarship applications.

Having a separate folder for each helps you stay organized and makes your life much easier.

I definitely would not recommend mixing your class notes with other handouts!


9. Mechanical pencils

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Because every other pencil is so….not the move!

These are my all time favorite. They come with extra led, and the eraser is so smooth. Plus, they feel amazing to write with and they’re more stylish.


10. 1″ binders

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I’d highly recommend getting different 1″ binders for each of your classes instead of the one big one.

This is because the bigger ones are very bulky to carry around and they make your backpack heavy. They also force you to carry around notes and other information for classes you may not have that day.

Having the smaller binders for each class allows you to just carry what you need on that day.

Related: 10 Backpack Essentials Every College Student Needs to Have


11. Planner

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One of the most crucial school supplies for college! Like I said in my post on backpack essentials, you’re schedule going to be like a roller coaster.

One minute you’re going to have absolutely nothing due; then have 4 exams and 6 papers due the next week.

Your planner helps you see what your calendar of assignments and events is looking like so you can plan out your work.


12. Notebooks

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Of course, you’re going to need notebooks!

I recommend spiral notebooks because they feel lighter and it’s easy to just rip a page out of you need to.


13. Highlighters

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Highlighters are one of the most crucial school supplies you need for college!

They help you keep your notes organized and focuses on the information that is important.

Having a few colored highlights helps you sort your notes into categories or highlight depending on importance.


14. Sticky notes

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This is an absolute must-have for college. There are many ways you can use them!

Personally, I’d add them to my planner if I needed to write an extra note where I didn’t have space. I’d also use them for that same purpose in my notes.

I also used them on my bulletin board in my room for all the things I had to do that day/week.

Related: 30 Things that will Transform Your College Dorm


15. Stapler

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I promise you, you’ll need one.

With all the papers you’re going to write, and projects you’ll have to print out, you’ll definitely need a stapler.

It’s always better to have one on hand in case your classmate or library doesn’t have one available.

The last thing you want is to have to bend the corners of your paper to turn it in because you didn’t have a stapler!



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15 school supplies every college student needs


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