Custom fields in posts per category


I’m new to WordPress and looking for your input and suggestions. I made a custom template myself and am fairly comfortable with HTML/CSS/JS and PHP.

I would like to add custom fields (text & dropdown) to posts. I understand there’s a “Custom fields” I can turn on so the author can choose from the dropdown but I want it to be permanently displayed in the wp-admin so that the author doesn’t make a mistake. There are times when an author may forget to add some custom fields unless it’s shown when creating a new post.

Something like this in the dashboard when the author clicks “add new post” or edit:

Title (this would be used student name for this category type):
Course (dropdown):
Year (dropdown):
Roll Number:
1st Sem Fee (dropdown): Paid/Incomplete/Unpaid
2nd Sem Fee (dropdown): Paid/Incomplete/Unpaid
3rd Sem Fee (dropdown): Paid/Incomplete/Unpaid

Is this possible in the WP core or do I need a plugin? Which plugin do you recommend?

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