Friday, November 7, 2008

College Planning

Fall is a busy time on the college-planning calendar.

College fairs and financial aid nights kick into high gear. Younger students will be taking the PSAT. Students and parents need to do their homework on scholarships and ways to pay for a college education. Senior will be completing their college/university applications as well as their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Fauquier County Public Library's web site has a number of e-resources available for students and parents, including:

Peterson's Testing and Education Reference Center - In addition to numerous online practice tests and test prep e-books, TERC includes a college search tool with over 4,000 4- and 2-year colleges. Students can search for colleges stating specific criteria and even have colleges recruit them by registering with CollegesWantYou.

Recently updated test prep ebooks include SAT II Subject Success in Biology, Literature, Physics and U.S. History.

The site also includes college credit test prep for 17 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. With 2 timed, full-length practice tests in each subject, students can get to know their exams well before test day. Each practice test offers 90-days access.

For high school students not ready or interested in pursuing college/university, TERC also includes a Speciality & Career Program Search. Students can explore career colleges, search for vocational programs, distance learning programs and accredited 2-year programs in information technology (network administration, etc.).

Career-minded high school students should also log in to Ferguson's Career Guidance Center, a resource recently added to the library's collection. The database includes information (articles and videos) on more than 3,300 jobs and 94 industries, broken down into 16 "Career Clusters" created by the Department of Education. College-bound students also benefit from this resource, as it will help them determine which colleges will help them meet career goals.

For more information on college entrance exam resources (SAT, ACT), see my Oct. 15 post. There are also additional resources on the For the College Bound page of the library's Web site.