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Goshen Public Library and Historical Society

Across the Reference Desk

by Fran O'Gorman

August 9, 2000

Summer time provides an excellent opportunity to research possible college choices for the prospective graduate in the family. The library, as usual, is an excellent place to do this. From selecting the college itself, to the information on financial aid, we are here, ready to guide you through the process.

The Reference area is the best place to start. We maintain a collection of current directories which are updated annually. They include everything from technical schools to graduate schools, to study abroad. Our reference shelves contain the most recent information for your perusal, older editions are available in our circulation area for borrowing. We have the standard directories with indexes according to area of study and geographic area as the PETERSON'S GUIDE as well as those which rate colleges or list only selected ones, such as the GOURMAN REPORT or the FISKE GUIDE TO COLLEGES (which is selective) or RUGG'S RECOMMENDATION ON THE COLLEGES. Our scope in the refrence area is great, including directories on rpgorams for persons with disabilities as well as external degree programs, and a wide variety of material on financial resource, including sports scholarships.

The reference area is a great starting point, but then we recommend that you access the wealth of information on the web. Peterson's has an excellent site It links to the specific colleges themselves as well as searches and sorts according to programs and areas of study. There is also a great site called which specializes in linkin you to the visual tour on a college's web site and toi their live web cams when available. Also on the web at is the official government site for the Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which provides the actual form as well as other information. An excellent tool can be found at This site is the national Center for Educational Statistics. Here you can plug in your criteria and it will generate a list of schools which meet it - a cool search indeed!

Book format is our recommended starting point, the general web sites are important also, but once the choices are narrowing down, finally visiting the actual college web sites themselves is absolutely essential. They typically contain information on admissions, financial aid, faculty directories, course catalogs, and even often provide driving instructions, linking to recommended hotel and motel accommodation sites for those arranging for lodging when actually visiting the college.