If your son/daughter is off to college for the first time, you must have a "college corner". That's a part of a room in your house where all of the college "stuff" is being acumulated. If it is not the first time your child is leaving, then the college corner maybe a bit smaller.
Since son was going off to a small town, we wouldn't see him for awhile I was obsessed with getting everything he needed. Believe it or not, they do have Walmarts, Targets, CVS, walgreens, grocery stores in Clemson! I loaded him up with a year's worth of everything, only to find out that there wasn't much room in his room. And lo and behold, since he did have transportation, he could have bought whatever he needed when he ran out!
Most schools will send a college check list, they will also try to get you to buy lots of things through vendors they do business with. Sheets, towels, comforters were not of the quality I bought through the mail, no matter how much I thought I was saving!
If your college student has an option to "loft" their beds, it's a great idea. Gives more room and I think a wise investment. My son couldn't loft in the dorm he was staying, so two really tall boys had barely enough room to turn around.
Some don't forget items: those plastic drawers they sell in every store, served as a bed stand and he could keep everything he needed for everyday in there as they don't provide much drawer space, or when sharing a bathroom, not too much space either. And plastic crates came in handy for storing blankets and extra sheets, towels under the bed. Those are must haves.
I won't get into the change the sheet thing, but I found one set of sheets were not used at all.
The neatest thing almost all schools have is prepaid cards. This is usually their student ID card. At sons school it is called a Tiger card and you can load it up with a credit card. I don't usually put much on it, but son finds it handy to use in some places on and off campus so he doesn't have to carry his wallet. It can be used for snack machines, and for laundry. You can check the balance yourself too, I usually put 50 dollar increments on the card. They can get a balance each time they use it. Since son is on the commuter meal plan, and an added incentive is 300 paw points, to be used just like cash in the cafeteria when his card runs low at end of semester. And cafeteria meals, when his plan is used up , 7 dollars a meal, all you can eat, for me is a bargain.
I know Cleveland Dad provided some links on another thread, didn't read if this was what it was about, but other items that come in handy in the dorm are flashlight, can opener hammer and nails and egg crate (or one of those foam things) for the bed. My son preferred the memory foam one, the dorms beds are really not that comfy. Also be aware than many universities do not allow halegon lighting for safety reasons.
Hope this helps, remember, it can be expensive sending them off to school, but I think we sometimes go a bit overboard, and don't have to send lots of things that we really think we need too. Besides, I thought I spent a lot the first year, moving into an apartment the second year was the killer. Thankfully, his third year, he only requested a new set of sheets, and I was happy to oblige!