Survive College Admissions Mania with Resources from Your Library

Preparing for college can be an exciting and daunting task: from taking the required entrance exams to submitting a stellar application to applying for financial aid.

Did you know that the Library District has a variety of resources available to help you (and your parents) through the process?

In addition to visiting with school counselors and college admission representatives, take advantage of the free books and eResources available to you at the libraries.


Admissions Process

Choosing a college based on who wins NCAA’s March Madness tournament is probably not the most effective strategy for determining your future education. (But it sure can be tempting especially when you’re facing piles of college prospectus brochures.)


Again, it’s a good idea to talk with your school counselor to get input into researching potential colleges. The Library can supplement that conversation with additional useful resources like The Enlightened College Applicant: A New Approach to the Search and Admissions Process by Andrew Belasco and Dave Bergman.

A few other books to help with choosing and applying to college:

100 Successful College Application Essays Compiled by staff of The Harvard Independent
Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College  by Sally P. Springer, Jon Reider, and Joyce Vining Morgan
Applying to College for Students with ADD or LD: A Guide to Keep You (and Your Parents) Sane, Satisfied, and Organized Through the Admission Process  by Blythe Grossberg
College Planning for Gifted Students: Choosing and Getting into the Right College by Sandra L. Berger
Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni
Write Your Way In: Crafting an Unforgettable College Admissions Essay by Rachel Toor

BONUS: For a bit of comic relief amidst all the college admissions crazy, check out J.D. Rothman’s satire The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions: Strategies for Helicoptering, Hot-housing & Micromanaging.



SAT / ACT Test Prep

The typical college admissions process includes the entrance exam: the SAT or ACT depending upon the institution. The Library offers three excellent online resources for test preparation that include study guides and practice tests.

BrainFuse Homework HelpNow provides an interactive writing lab and ACT and SAT test preparation. Live tutors are available 7 days-a-week from 3:00PM until midnight. Access is also available in Spanish.

LearningExpress offers interactive skill-building courses, tutorials, study guides, and practice tests for the ACT and SAT (and other official tests). You will be required to register for an account on the database site. The username is your Poudre River Public Libraries library card number.

There are also a variety of SAT and ACT study guides that can be checked out from the libraries as well as subject-area test guides for Literature, U.S. and World History, Biology, etc. Options include titles like 10 Practice Tests for the SAT and Cracking the ACT from Princeton Review.

BONUS: There are also PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test prep materials for sophomore students or those looking to get a head start on studying.


Financial Aid

If you’re looking for sources of funding for college, take a look at the Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans (GALE) database available through the Library. This online resource provides comprehensive information on sources of education-related financial aid sponsored and administered by private organizations and companies.

We also have books that outline ways to pay for college such as

1001 Ways to Pay for College by Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Getting Financial Aid by College Board
Paying for College: Practical, Creative Strategies by Barbara Gottfried Hollander
The Community College Advantage: Your Guide to a Low-Cost, High-Reward College Experience by Diane Melville


No matter where you are in the college planning process, stop by and talk with our librarians to discover useful resources for surviving college admissions mania.