Great stuff here and since my own kid just graduated I have a little insight to add. The advice about USB flash drives is excellent. You cannot get too many of these. They're inexpensive and easily lost so start your kid out with a handful. Each one doesn't have to be too large in capacity but you'll certainly want more than one.
We got our kid a combo printer/scanner/copier with wifi and I'd do the same again in a minute. College is a 24-hour enviornment and if the library's closed the kid still has to print out the next day's work if it's not going to be emailed to the prof. Wifi let both my kid and the roomie connect to the same printer. We brought that and the roomie brought the fridge. Fair's fair after all.
Here's something I learned the hard way. At our kid's school extension cords were forbidden but power strips were encouraged. A combo power strip & surge protector is a great idea for that new laptop and a handful of other power strips are necessary, particularly in older dorms with too few wall outlets.
I know this will sound very 20th century in an era when every electronic gadget including your cell phone has a built in alarm clock, but a small table-top clock radion with battery backup turned out to be a very useful and inexpensive purchase.
I don't recall a single TV in a dorm when I was in school but now, even though internet TV is everywhere, almost every room has a flat-panel set. Starting prices for a 15" model are surprisingly low nowadays too and even combo TV/DVD player models are remarkably affordable.
And, it always helps to remember that it's okay to forget something or other. UPS delivers and whatever the kid turns out to need is just one more reason for him or her to call home, something they'll do far less frequently than you'll wish they did.
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