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College 101

Checklist: Preparing for College Visits
Article Type: Checklist

You don't just appear one morning at your dream school, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and call that a college visit. No. You prep ahead of time, so you can squeeze every drop of information and observation out of the short time you'll be on campus.

  Research the school online. Fail to do this, and you've got bigger problems than getting into college, friend.

  Compose a list of questions to ask students, professors, university staff, the hot campus tour guide, coaches, and the random guy streaking in front of the library. The more questions you ask, the more information you'll have...and information is power.

  Look at the school calendar. Will that Statistical Thermodynamics class you're dying to sit in on be in session? Check.

  Make appointments. Show up for a tour without registering, or at a professor's door without e-mailing first, and you will get the stink eye.

  Look at a map. We're not saying you have to know where the food court and Frat House Row and the student-run pub is...but the hot campus tour guide will be impressed if you at least know which way is north.

  Pack. Even if you're just taking a day trip to your local liberal arts college, bring a notebook and a camera and a snack for in case you get hungry.

  Dress to impress. During your campus visit, you'll meet people who have a say in the admissions process and in the awarding of financial aid. You'll talk to professors who could someday be grading your finals. So, wear deodorant, iron your shirt, and Febreeze your shoes. No one likes the smell of yeasty feet.

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