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Home | Online Resources: Link to a Topic | College and Financial Aid
college and financial aid

Whether you are searching for undergraduate programs, or thinking about returning to school after years in the workforce, the World Wide Web offers numerous helpful sites. From choosing an educational institution, to choosing a career path, to finding the money to pay for it all, the following sites should point you in the right direction for making an informed choice.

Printed materials are also readily available at your local branch of the Ocean County Library. College and university directories geared towards students of all levels and interests may be checked out. Applications for taking the SAT, GED, LSAT, or the FAFSA form for financial aid, may all be picked up, or printed out from the Internet, at your local branch. For a report on crime on college and university campuses in the United States, see The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 28,1999 issue, available at the Toms River Branch periodicals department.

Planning for College or Graduate School

  College Board Online
A great starting point for researching college or graduate schools. Their College Search database attempts to match you up with a college or university fitting your academic, financial, and geographic needs. Sign up for the SAT, then read through the numerous essays which take you through the entire application process- from the personal statement and meeting deadlines to finding financial aid-including their searchable scholarship database.

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Take practice tests online! Please visit our Online Resources page for LearnExpressLibrary

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Check out these links and contacts for receiving further information and application forms. While some branches of the Ocean County Library receive paper applications, not all do. Call ahead to inquire!

For more information, check out the New Jersey Department of Education's page on registering for the GED.

updated st.francis ged classes (2010)
Lakewood, Manahawkin, Toms River and Brick

To register for the LSAT online  first register with their Website. To request a paper application and information, fill out the online order form. 
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers many tests for higher education.
Click here to download registration information
and applications for the GMAT, Praxis, GRE, or TOEFL exams. These documents are .pdf formats so you will need to have Adobe Acrobat installed on your PC.

  Peterson’s Colleges & Universities
Another commercial site, but still worthwhile. This online version of the many Peterson College and University guides is easy to navigate and a quick way to find the essentials about colleges and universities. Search by type of school (undergraduate, business, culinary, distance learning, etc.). A full overview of basic but necessary information is presented, such as areas of study, student and faculty profiles, admission profiles, and expenses. Don’t forget to check out Peterson’s scholarship page Collegequest.


  All About College
An easy to use directory of college and university web pages and admissions’ e-mail addresses from around the world. Also includes listings for graduate schools, with separate directories for medical schools, business schools, law, and graduate engineering programs.

  COOL- College Opportunities OnLine
Sponsored by the US Dept. of Education, this directory for 9,000+ universities and colleges in the United States can be narrowed down by region, state, programs and degrees available. Click on any college or university name from your search results page, and an overview of courses, degrees awarded, and tuition statistics is given, plus telephone numbers for admissions and financial aid offices and a link to the institution’s homepage.

A huge directory for finding web pages for graduate and postgraduate programs on a global scale. Choose the program you are interested in, then narrow down your search by choosing a country or state. Each program includes the admissions mail and e-mail address, web page address, and a short blurb that most likely was written by that university.

  OPE Campus Security Statistics Website 
The Office of Post secondary education has compiled and provided access to statistics collected by universities and colleges in the United States concerning reported criminal offenses occurring on campus, or to students in areas surrounding the campus. All schools that are Title IV eligible must make their campus security report available.

College Life

  Campus Tours
What better way to find out about a campus than to take a virtual tour of it? Search for a college or university by name or geographic area, then check out a virtual tour, take a look at campus pictures, or explore an interactive map. Note that not every campus offers all three visual experiences. Bulletin boards with postings by prospective students and matriculated students on a variety of topics round out this site.

Non Traditional Students

  Back to College
Created for adults, or "non traditional" students, considering going back to school, this site offers advice and research for choosing a program. Topics covered include choosing a program, financial aid, and dealing with the life adjustment of returning to school.

College and University Rankings

  US News Online- College and Career Special Issue
Online edition of their special issues ranking colleges and graduate programs.

  College and University Rankings
After seeing how your college or university choices fared in the rankings, learn more about how they are ranked, and the controversy such rankings have caused. In addition, this site is a directory for specialized rankings beyond academic reputation. A bibliography of print resources ranking higher education programs is included.

Financial Aid

  College is Possible
Created for under-grads and their families, this site has information on preparing for college, choosing a college, and paying for college. Articles for parents and for students cover topics such as being academically prepared for college, exploring career possibilities, and methods of saving money. Some of the articles are in Spanish or English.

  E Student Loan
Students considering loans to defray college costs would be well served by this Web site. A glossary of lingo used on applications complements the clear, understandable explanations of the financial aid process. A loan finder database attempts to match the user up with appropriate loans.

  NJ Higher Education Student Assistant Authority
New Jersey offers a multitude of ways to assist students realize their dreams of attending college.

  Student Financial Assistance- US Dept. of Education
A service of the federal Department of Education, this site offers advice for students concerned about paying for college and graduate school with scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. You may also fill out the FAFSA form.


  College and Student Loan Calculator
Help develop a savings plan for their, or their child's, college education. To use this tool you will need to enter your current savings amount, the rate of return, your monthly contributions, and the education cost inflation. You can print out your results in terms of balances and expenses by the year or total costs by child.

Scholarship Databases

This is the scholarship database compiled by Petersons, a major publisher of educational resources. Although you do need to register to use this site, the questionnaire is short and relatively harmless. It’s worth it- you’ll have access to a database of over 2,000 scholarship and grant programs for undergraduates.

Billing itself as the oldest and largest private sector scholarship database, this is the online version of "The Scholarship Book" by Prentice Hall. This is a good scholarship search to try if you do not qualify based on financial need.

Search for scholarships or the right college in the databases compiled here at FastWeb. After you’re finished filling out your user profile, any new scholarships added to their database that fits your criteria are stored for you in your mailbox.

  FinAid: The Financial Aid Network
This site attempts to cover all the bases on the issue of financial aid for students. Different types of aid available to students, such as loans, scholarships, and military aid, are examined. Their essay on scholarship scams is a must read as well! Calculators, tips on figuring out the mountains of financial aid paperwork, and an "Ask the Aid Advisor" e-mail link are provided. Also links to scholarship databases, plus some major-specific scholarship databases.

  Mach 25
This is the scholarship database from www.collegenet.com, another useful site for college information. Undergrad and graduate level students should be able to find scholarships to apply for; over 600,000 awards are indexed in this database. A big plus is their promise never to collect and distribute information that you give to them when searching to third parties.

The information listed in their database includes a variety of funding sources, such as scholarships, loans, internship competitions, and tuition waivers. SallieMae will search their scholarship database and send you the results to your e-mail address within 24 hours. You must have a valid e-mail address for this service, adobe acrobat (freeware from the web), plus enough time to fill out the form in one shot.

Distance Learning

  Distance Education and Training Council
Offers a directory of institutions accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, an independent board of this nonprofit educational organization. Recognized by the Federal Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Search for programs by subject, degree programs, high school programs, or browse the index of accredited institutions.

  NJ Virtual University
Placed online by the state of New Jersey, this site offers a searchable database of over 1000 credit and noncredit courses offered via distance learning by New Jersey educational institutions. You may search for what you want by browsing fields of study, looking at specific colleges, or how the course is given, or a combination of all.

  Take A Class
Created for working adults interested in continuing their education, this site has everything from essays about balancing work and school, to databases for searching for courses.


  The Common Application
Why fill out individual applications for a multitude of colleges and universities when you can streamline the process with this single form? The Common Application is a service of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. You can download the most recent version of the Common App — for either Mac or Windows — at their site.


  NCAA Online
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is the organization through which the nation’s colleges and universities speak and act on athletics matters at the national level. It is a voluntary association of more than 1,200 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals devoted to the sound administration of intercollegiate athletics. Links to programs and scholarships are listed.

  Study Abroad
Considering broadening your horizon geographically and academically? Take a look at this web site, where you can find programs worldwide on a variety of subjects for credit. Break down your search by length of study, or simply by subject.

University and Financial Aid Information Resources in Print

Undergrad College and University Directories 

These books provide the basic information needed to begin your search for the right college. Find statistics on the student and professor population, admissions, and degrees offered. 

Peterson's 2 year colleges 
Considering an associate degree? Use this book to help you find the right institution. 

Barron's profiles of American colleges Peterson's four year colleges 
Both of the above provide the basics: student statistics, tuition and fees, financial aid information, majors available, and admissions contacts. 

The Fiske Guide to Colleges 
by Edward B. Fiske with Robert Logue and the Fiske Guide to college staff. 
The Fiske Guide provides an overview of the school's academic and social atmosphere in an essay format. Students are surveyed for their opinions, and often are quoted in the text for a first-hand account of what it's like to attend the school. 

Specialized Directories 

The Ocean County Library owns a number of directories for specific programs of study, including Nursing, Law, Medicine, and Science. 

A Guide to College Programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality, & Tourism 

This international guide to the service industry lists programs on a variety of levels, from certificates and associate degrees, to graduate level programs. Each entry includes program descriptions, admissions information, tuition and fees, financial aid information, special features, and graduation requirements. 

Peterson's Professional Degree Programs in the Visual & Performing Arts 

Over 1,000 programs in studio art, music, dance, and theater are described. 

Barron’s Guide to Graduate Business Schools

Scholarship Directories 
These books gather and index scholarships from private organizations, as well as universities. Some include scholarships on a variety of descriptions, while others are more specialized. 

Peterson's College money handbook 

This book compiles financial aid packages available for specific colleges and universities. A chart is set up, detailing the number of students applying for, and the number of students receiving financial aid, and most distressing, the average graduate's indebtness upon completion of their degree. 

Free money for graduate school by Laurie Blum.
Find more than 1,000 grants and scholarships sources for free money for Graduate studies in this directory .The number of grants and scholarships from smaller, and not as well known resources is commendable. 

Athletic scholarships: thousands of grants--and over $400 million--for college- bound athletes 

Created for athletes hoping to attend a two or four year college. This resource lists contact information, tips on what each school looks for, athletic resumes, and timetables for when coaches recruit. 

The Black student's guide to scholarships (1999: 5th ed.) 

This directory lists financial aid resources for black and minority students from a variety of sources. 

Financial Aid Information 

These books include and go beyond scholarships to discuss different methods of paying for higher education. Loans, grants, and opportunities for work study are examined. Some books also offer tips and strategies for locating and writing successful scholarship and grant applications.

Directory of financial aids for women, 1999-2001 Gail Ann Schlachter . 

Financial aid for African Americans 1999-2001 Gail Ann Schlachter, R. David Weber.

Financial aid for Hispanic Americans 1999-2001 Gail Ann Schlachter, R. David Weber. 

All of the above three have collected and compiled scholarships, loans. Grants, awards, and internships specifically set aside for women, Hispanic Americans, or African Americans. 

How to Go to College Almost for Free: the secrets of winning scholarship money Ben Kaplan
The author writes from experience: he was able to secure $90,000 dollars worth of scholarship money for his first year at Harvard University.

JK Lasser Pro New Strategies for College Funding
Helps soon to be college students to begin saving for tuition before the bills come in. 

Winning scholarships for college: an insider's guide Marianne Ragins. 

This is the guide to read to learn how to win scholarships. Tips on finding scholarships, writing essays, and test taking skills are offered. 


1. What is the difference between grant, scholarship, loans, and work-study? 

A. Grants and scholarships are financial aid that does not have to be paid back. Loans must be paid back, plus interest. 
Work-study consists of some sort of job at the college or university you attend. 

2. What kind of loans does the US government offer? 
A. They have the Federal Family Education Loan Program. There are: Federal Stafford Loans Federal Plus Loans, Federal Consolidation Loans. Go directly to the Student Financial Assistance Web site from the US Dept. of Education to learn more about student loans. 

3. What kind of financial aid does the state of New Jersey offer? 
A. Go directly to the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. From here you can learn more about state scholarships, grants, loans, and college savings plans. 

4. Is there a single list of every scholarship available for residents of New Jersey? 
A. Not really. You can access state scholarships and financial aid programs from the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority Web site, however that won't include scholarships from private organizations. Talk to your school's guidance councilor, contact local civic organizations (a listing is available in the Ocean County Library's Resource Directory), and browse through the numerous scholarship directories in the library's collection. 

5.Can I use any federal or state loan at any college? 
A. No. Check with the financial aid department of the school you plan on attending to see what types of loans they accept. 

6. What about loan cancellations or forgiveness? 
A. Guidelines differ based upon which loan you have. Follow these links for more information: For Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans click here For Perkins Loans click here

7. What about loan cancellations for those who go into the teaching field? 
A. Those who teach in low-income areas, or subject-matter shortage areas may qualify to have their loans forgiven. Click here for more information. 

Special Resources - Colleges in New Jersey

Not every institute of higher education in New Jersey has a web site. Be sure to check out some of our printed college guides and directories for a more complete listing of educational opportunities in New Jersey!

Community Colleges

Atlantic Community College
Brookdale Community College
Burlington County College
Camden County College
County College of Morris
Mercer County Community College
Ocean County College
Cumberland County College
Essex County College - Newark
Middlesex County College
Union County College

Public Universities and Colleges

College of New Jersey
Kean University of New Jersey
Montclair State University
New Jersey City University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Rutgers University
Rowan University
Thomas Edison State College

William Patterson University of New Jersey

Private/Independent universities and colleges

Bloomfield College
Caldwell College
Drew University

Centenary College

Fairleigh Dickinson University
Felician College
Monmouth University
Princeton University
Rider University
St. Peter’s College
Seton Hall University

Women’s Colleges

Georgian Court College (evening & graduate programs are co-ed)

Specialized Colleges and Universities

Assumption College for Sisters

DeVry Institute-New Jersey Campus

Institute for Advanced Study

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Rutgers University- Cook College

Rutgers University-College of Pharmacy

Rutgers University-College of Engineering

Rutgers University- College of Nursing

Rutgers University- Mason Gross School of the Arts

Rutgers University-School of Communication, Information, & Library Studies

Stevens Institute of Technology

University of Medicine and Dentistry


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Researched and Compiled by:
Phyllis Yodowitz
Senior Librarian
Youth Services
Toms River, NJ 

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