Colleges: Finding Information
Finding the Right College
Directories of colleges and universities provide information about 2-year and 4-year schools as well as graduate and professional schools. College directories include:
- Requirements for admission
- Programs offered
- Number of students
- Ratio of students to faculty
- Tuition and fees
Maryland Higher Education Commission: Colleges and Universities information on 4-year, 2-year, and community colleges throughout Maryland.
College and University Rankings from the University of Illinois
Black Excel has helped African-American students and their parents navigate through the college admission process, including information on historically black colleges and universities.
Accredited Online Colleges and Universities Database provides accreditation, program, population and graduation rates for U.S. schools.
College Board includes advice on finding a college, tests, applying to schools, and financing your education. Also includes action plans for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
What Tests Do I Need to Take?
SAT or ACT? Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of possibilities, it’s time to check the requirements for each college that you’re thinking about and find out which test (or tests) are required.
- PSAT or Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test is a good opportunity to check your skills in different areas and discover strengths and weaknesses before you take the SAT. The PSAT should be taken no later than your junior year in high school and is offered at high schools all over the city. It also gives you a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs.
- The SAT I is a three-hour exam that measures both basic verbal and mathematical skills that a student has learned both in and out of school. It tests the ability to reason rather than learning facts. Some colleges may also require the SAT II exam in some subject areas (for example, for a specific foreign language or for one of the sciences). The SAT II generally takes an hour to complete for each subject.
- The ACT, also known as the ACT Assessment, is a national college admissions exam that consists of tests in the areas of English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The ACT is usually administered in October, December, February, April, and June. Many colleges will accept ACT scores in place of SAT scores.
Learning Express Library (Available in all Pratt Library locations, or from home with your library card)
College preparation materials including SAT, ACT, and career specific exams. Create an account and keep track of your progress. Take SAT Critical Reading, Math, and Writing practice tests. Immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and individualized analysis of your score are provided. Also includes resources for high school students, and current college students.
Where can I find money for college?
The form that you need to complete for financial aid is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Federal Student Aid programs include the following:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (FSEOG)
- Federal Work Study
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Stafford Loans
- Plus Loans (Loans to Parents)
How to Get Money for College in Maryland - Determine your eligibility, learn about different types of financial aid, and how to find scholarships.
FAFSA on the Web - Fill out and submit the FAFSA online
Funding Education Beyond High School - the Official Guide to Federal Student Aid Department of Education guide to grants, loans, and work-study.
Maryland Higher Education Commission - Maryland student financial aid programs, application forms, and scholarship search.
Student Aid on the Web - Federal student aid programs and expert advice on student financial aid.
If You Need More Help
If you need more assistance, please feel free to contact us through our Ask-A-Librarian Service, call (410) 396-5430, or write:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201