Colleges and universities research guide

At Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library, most reference books on college-related topics are shelved together in special areas. At Old Worthington Library, they are kept on the business reference tables; at Northwest Library, they are kept on the consumer reference tables.

Most of the circulating books on college-related topics can be found in the general non-fiction area under call numbers beginning 378.

General Directories

  • Big Future
    This website by The College Board allows you to search colleges by major, explore careers and has step-by-step guidelines on scholarship applications and college entry.
  • College Blue Book. Revised annually. [R 378.73 COL]
    This six-volume set includes information about four-year colleges, vocational schools and financial aid.
  • Collegenet
    In addition to a directory of schools, Collegenet offers two unique features. College Search quickly focuses on schools best suited to your interests and personality. Scholarship Search looks for scholarships that match your personal profile.
  • EDUregistry
    EDUregistry is a no-frills site that provides basic contact information for colleges and universities in the United States. It includes four-year colleges, two-year colleges, vocational schools and technical schools. General overviews are provided for issues like admissions, financial aid and housing.
  • My College Guide
    Information about colleges and financial aid. You may submit questions to the site through their "Ask the Guru" section and search an archive of previous questions and their answers.
  • National Application Center
    This online resource helps students and their families select a college, apply for admission and plan to finance higher education.
  • Peterson's Guide to Four-Year Colleges [R 378.73 FOU] and Peterson's Guide to Two-Year Colleges [R 378.73 TWO] Revised annually.
    Peterson's Guides give information on enrollment, academic programs, expenses, student-faculty ratio, application deadlines and contact information for four- and two-year colleges.
  • Web US Higher Education
    This section of the University of Texas at Austin web site contains links to the home pages of universities, colleges and community colleges across the United States. Browse two-year and four-year schools alphabetically or by state, and link directly to the home page of any listed school.

Specific Directories

Many directories identify and profile schools by cultural affiliation, location or programs offered. The titles below are only a selection of what is available at the Library. Ask a librarian for help finding a directory that meets your needs.

  • College Blue Book: Distance Learning Programs. 2013 [R 378.73 COL]
    This guide has profiles for over 900 colleges that offer degrees through distance learning (online education). Each profile contains accreditation information, availability of financial aid, degrees and awards offered, course subject areas and contact information for programs.
  • HBCU Network
    This site includes a directory of Historically Black Colleges & Universities. From the home page, click on "School Profiles."
  • IIEPassport Study Abroad Directory: the complete guide to studying abroad. [378 IIE]
    The annual IIEPassport directory highlights over 9,500 programs offered by U.S. and foreign universities and providers, making it the most comprehensive resource to planning study abroad for students, parents and advisers.


  • Best Colleges. Revised annually. [378.73 AME]
    This annual publication from U. S. News and World Report uses its own evaluative equation to rank colleges. Factors taken into account include academic reputation, graduation rate, freshmen retention, faculty quality, selectivity of admissions and financial resources. Look also at the website, which includes best colleges, as well as rankings of specific programs, such as best engineering programs.
  • The Best...Colleges. Revised annually. [378.1056 BES]
    Student comments about campus life dominate each school's profile, giving the potential applicant a real sense of what it would be like to attend the school in question. Also includes information about admissions, financial aid and the academic performance of the incoming freshmen class.
  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges. Revised annually. [R 378.73 FIS]
    Multi-page essays on each of the more than 300 schools chosen by the Fiske staff as the "best and most interesting" in the country. Essays cover academics, housing, food and social life.

Financial Aid

Financial aid comes in different forms (scholarships, loans and grants) from different sources (state governments, the federal government, schools and private foundations) and is often designated for different groups (athletes, women, minorities, etc.). The resources below should help you navigate this complex topic.

Most circulating books on financial aid can be found under call numbers beginning 378.3.

General Overviews

  • College Board Getting Financial Aid. Revised annually. [378.3025 COL]
    An overview of various sources of college funding is followed by a section of individual school profiles with contact information for the financial aid officer and a breakdown of the sources of money available to the student body. Published by Peterson's/Thomson Learning.
  • FinAid
    This site is a subject directory to a wide range of financial aid sources on the web.

Government Sources

  • FAFSA— Free Application for Federal Student Aid
    The most popular section of the U. S. Department of E Education's web site, these pages include guides on locating and applying for student aid for college. You can use this online form to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Ohio Higher Ed
    The Ohio Board of Regents provides information about the grants and scholarships they administer, with a "Students" section that helps individuals prepare for and pay for college in Ohio.
  • Ohio Online Student Loan Resource Center
    The Ohio Attorney General's office has created this comprehensive online Student Loan Center to help prospective, current and former college students understand and manage student loans. The site contains information and resources to explore careers, choose a school, apply for student loans and repay loans.
  • The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority's College Advantage
    Find out about this state program that allows you to pay for future tuition at today's prices.
  • U. S. Department of Education
    Use this site to stay current with federal financial aid programs. Includes a Find Aid section as well as Grants and Contracts.

Designated groups

  • Athnet: Athletic Scholarships
    This website offers free scholarship information for several sports. There is more financial and recruiting information available with a paid subscription to the page.

Reference Service Press puts out a biennial series that covers financial aid for specific groups. These include:

Admissions and Admissions Tests

  • ACT Home
    The official ACT site has test dates, sample questions, test-taking hints and online test registration.
  • Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting Into College. [378.1056 SPR]
    This guidebook offers advice and information on choosing the right school, writing entrance essays, receiving financial aid, and much more for all students and parents.
  • College Board Online
    The official site of the SAT has a schedule of test dates, online registration, test-taking hints, advice on college admissions and a scholarship search.
  • College Essays that Made a Difference. 2003. [378.1056 COL]
    Published by the Princeton Review, this book can help students write an essay that will greatly improve their chances of getting into college.
  • Educational Testing Service Network
    Test-takers can prepare themselves with practice questions straight from the administrators of the AP, GRE, ICT Literacy Assessment, major field tests, MAPP, PRAXIS, SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC and TSE.
  • Ohio Department of Education: GED Testing
    Offers information for getting a GED in Ohio, including testing centers, and how to best prepare for the test.
  • LearningExpress Library (database)
    Go to LearningExpress Library for online practice academic standardized tests and skills improvement courses. Includes ACT, SAT, nursing school practice entrance tests, TOEFL, technical and career college skills and more. Requires a valid library card for access outside the Library.

Campus Life and Housing

revised January 2016