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You may have caught glimpses of them through an open door when you walked by the “Guidance Counselor” suite while on your way to class. Depending on how far along in high school you are, you may have even met with one and had a conversation about your “college plans” (or something about your future) and then gone on your way armed with brochures that you still intend to read some day. You still aren’t really sure what they do, though.

You probably know that guy (or girl) who, no matter what, always seem to excel - the best looking dates, they drop out and immediately get their dream job, or they can talk their way in and out of a tight situation in minutes. Unfortunately we're not all that talented (or lucky) and sometimes we have a hard enough time just figuring out where to fit in when it comes to new situations.

In another blow to the already expensive venture of attending college and rising tuition costs, subsidized Federal Stafford Loan Rates have doubled from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Reading has always been a big part of education since...well...there was stuff to read. And if you’re like most folks, you probably think that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to love reading.

You’re probably wrong.

In the first part of the series, we shared must-know advice to help you save money on textbooks, pick the right class schedule, and get help with research—among other things. In our second installment, we offer a few more suggestions. They include tips on how to make friends (with your professors), balance your social life, and get ahead:

Sports are a big part of the college experience for lots of people, but did you know that they also might be a big part of your bill, too?

According to an analysis conducted by USAToday reporters Steve Berkowitz, Jodi Upton, Michael McCarthy, and Jack Gillum, keeping big state school sports programs running might account for as much as 23% of in-state students’ bills. Usually students don’t ever really know that that’s where there money is going because its often hidden in the form of various fees tacked on to your bill.

Studying abroad can be one of the most significant experiences you can get out of college.

One of the biggest joys of college life is taking off with a bunch of your friends and spending a week of unfettered fun during Spring Break. The timing couldn’t be better: the world’s just waking up again from the depths of winter and, if you go to school in the northern half of the US, you’re pretty sick of being bundled up and trudging to class with the wintry winds in your face. Besides, most of the time Spring Break happens just about mid-way through the spring semester and you’re ready for a break anyway.

If you’ve been in high school any time during the past 10 years, you’ve certainly heard of ever-so-clever acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. Heck, you may have even taken a “STEM class” or two. After all, so we’re told, STEM is the key to a bright, successful, and lucrative future career.

Maybe your grades aren’t as good as you wish they were. Maybe you were a little tired the morning of the SATs and didn’t quite hit the score you wanted. Maybe you’re just a natural worrier. Whatever. Everybody has some reason to worry about whether or not they’re going to get into college.

Everyone knows that the more you know, the better you’ll do in the world. Happily, according to a new study by the national Bureau of Economic Research, it seems as if more and more people all over the world are getting more and more education with each passing year.

If you’ve never seen the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, you’ve really missed out. There’s literally nothing like it on Earth. Resembling something like the unholy melding of a 1950’s sci-fi spaceship, a hotdog, and a vintage car, it definitely turns heads no matter where it goes.

The line between clever and smug can be fine, walk it carefully!

Writing the college entrance essay is perhaps the hardest part of the college application process. The quality of your writing will determine whether you stand out or fall by the wayside in the eyes of admissions committees, so it’s critical that your essay is both compelling and that it reads as an honest reflection of you.

Do you feel like a square peg that people are always trying to pound into the proverbial round hole? Are you zigging when others are zagging? When someone asks you to “think outside of the box” do you immediately think “what box?” Do you often feel that you just don’t fit in?

If so, read on: we might just have the perfect college for you.