Colleges and universities research guide

Reference books on college-related topics are shelved together in special areas. At Old Worthington Library, they are kept in the reference aisle; at Northwest Library, they are kept on the Consumer reference table.

Circulating books on college-related topics can be found in the general non-fiction area under call numbers beginning 378 at all three Worthington Libraries locations.

General Directories

  • College Blue Book. Revised annually. [R 378.73 COL]
    This six-volume set includes information about four-year colleges, vocational schools, online learning and financial aid.
  • Peterson's Four-Year Colleges [378.73 FOU] and Peterson's Two-Year Colleges [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.
  • 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.
  • 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, online education 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.

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.


  • Best Colleges. Revised annually. [378.73 BES]
    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. [378.73 BES]
    This publication from Princeton Review includes student comments about campus life for each school profiled, 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 Handbook. Revised annually. [378.3 GET]
    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.
    This site is a comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.

Government Sources

  • FAFSA— Free Application for Federal Student Aid
    The Federal Student Aid program provides grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career schools. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in the financial aid process. In addition, most states and colleges use information from the FAFSA to award nonfederal aid.
  • Ohio Higher Ed
    Find out about financial aid offered by the State of Ohio for students at Ohio public institutions.
  • Ohio Student Loan 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 apply for student loans and repay loans.
  • The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority's College Advantage
    Find out about Ohio's CollegeAdvantage 529 savings plans that allow you to pay for future tuition at today's prices.
  • U. S. Department of Education
    Use this site for information about loan repayment and financial aid scams.

Designated groups

Admissions and Admissions Tests

  • 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 Essays that Made a Difference. 2014. [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.
    The official ACT site has test dates, sample questions, test-taking hints and online test registration.
    The official site of the SAT and PSAT has a schedule of test dates, online registration, test-taking hints, advice on college admissions and a scholarship search.
  • LearningExpress Library (database)
    Learning Express Library provides practice tests, review materials and scoring for many academic and standardized tests, including ACT, SAT, GED, Advanced Placement (AP) exams and more.
  • Gale Courses (database)
    Gale Courses offers six-week online SAT and ACT test prep courses that allow students interactive communication with instructors.

College Success Strategies

There are many good books about surviving Freshman year in college and creating good habits for college success.

Browse the shelves:

  • 378.198 for books about dorm life and adjusting to college
  • 371.3028 for books to improve study skills

Check out these suggested titles:

revised August 2016