School After High School

  • Most people know the importance of having a high school diploma or its equivalent. These days, a diploma just isn't enough -- everyone deserves the chance to have a rewarding job paying above minimum wage, and that chance depends on completing some kind of formal training program after high school. This guide contains materials held at MCPL as well as web sources and local organizations that will help to plan and prepare for, and select and fund your higher education needs. With the understanding that four-year colleges are not the best fit for everyone's high education goals, this guide covers a variety of education options, including community colleges, trade and vocational schools, four-year colleges and universities, and military training. The guide has a local and state focus, but also provides resources of education planning at programs nationwide and even abroad.

    Chris H.


  • Barb Pytel
    378.161 Pyt

    This general college preparation book is written by a licensed school counselor and college consultant, and covers a wide variety of topics. Beginning with what high school classes and which tests you'll need take, it then moves on to the school selection process. A section on college visits is followed by information and tips on the application process. Financial aid is covered in a separate section. This book includes a CD-ROM contains worksheets, checklists, timeliness, and examples to print out and use during the college search.

Web Resources

  • KnowHow2GoIndiana is a website developed in conjunction with LearnMoreIndiana that uses "the Four Steps to College" to prepare teens for higher education: Be a pain, push yourself, find the right fit, and put your hands on some cash. Tips, quizzes, and links to other resources are presented for each high school grade level, as well as for middle school students and adults returning to school. The national KnowHow2Go website includes even more tools to help teens find the right higher education fit for their needs and wants.

  • Learn More Indiana is a partnership between state and national organizations designed to help Hoosiers prepare, plan, pay for (and complete) a secondary education. The Planning section includes tools for saving for college, a grade-by-grade list of deadlines, and a section for adults returning to secondary education. The Choosing section has a host of great tools, including a College MatchMaker to help find the right school for you, virtual tours, an interactive map of Indiana colleges, and a section on distance education. The Application section covers admission requirements and deadlines, transferring credits, and a section for student-athletes. Financial aid (including scholarships), budgeting, and saving are covered in the Paying section, and the Completing section provides tools to help students transition from high school and be successful in their higher education goals. The website also has a robust Career section.

  • This neutral, non-commercial website has a number of resources for higher education planning, preparation, and financing. Of especial use are the financial aid resources and the glossary of college and financial aid terms and acronyms. This website also contains a wide variety of calculators to prepare for life after high school, whether it includes higher education or not: budget, bank balancing, and savings calculators; student loan repayment and loan consolidation calculators; and a "debt/salary wizard" calculator that can be used to see how much you can afford to borrow based on the salary you expect to earn with your degree.

  • CampusTours is a website that allows prospective students to take multimedia tours of a large number of schools. Users can search for schools by name or state, or browse a list of available tours by school name. Each school's profile includes basic geographic, tuition, enrollment, admission, housing, and sports information. Many of the tours have interactive maps of the campuses, video tours, podcasts, and other features. The tours themselves are the products of the individual schools.

  • This website is your one-stop shop for the SAT. Find test locations, high school codes, college codes, and even register! The website also includes practice and review sections for the SAT and the SAT subject tests, and allows you to create an account that can be used both to save your practice tests and send your test scores to colleges once you've taken the test.

  • An easy and fun online career exploration game, Drive of Your Life helps teens learn about themselves, careers, and higher education. By answering a series of questions about themselves, teens learn what careers might interest them and then go on a virtual drive to learn more about those careers - all in a customized car. Made available by the Indiana Youth Institute.

  • A gateway to e-learning from Indiana colleges and universities, ICN lists more than 1,500 courses and more than 100 degrees (undergraduate and graduate), certificates, licensures, and endorsements via distance education, available in a wide variety of course delivery methods. Users can search for courses by subject, level (undergraduate, graduate, continuing education), campus, and delivery method. Degree and certificates can be searched for by subject, degree/certificate type, campus, and delivery method. This website also includes a section on distance learning basics, a glossary of terms, and sample classes. This website is maintained by Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System, established by the Indiana General Assembly.

  • Learn about and register for SAT and GRE review courses at Indiana University. Courses require a registration fee.

  • Published exclusively online now, these annual rankings cover 1600 schools and include best schools overall, by region, by value, and for students with "less-than-stellar" grades. A large number of other rankings are included, such as "best undergraduate business programs," "historically black colleges and universities," and "high school counselor rankings." The site features a college search feature that lets the user search by name, location, enrollment, and tuition and fees, both in- and out-of-state. Three knowledge centers are featured as a part of the website: college applications, college planning, and paying for school. While the focus of the rankings are on 4-year colleges and universities, some coverage is provided for technical and vocational schools, as well as community colleges.

  • This website contains three different scholarship and financial aid information pages, including local and state scholarships. Financial Information Currently Available contains annotations and links to a number of websites providing financial aid information. Scholarships Currently Available contains a list of scholarships that are currently "open," and lists schools where the scholarship may be used, criteria, contact information, and deadlines. The Complete List of Scholarships lists all scholarships, including ones not currently open, and may be viewed by month of scholarship deadline.

  • This website lists scholarships (mainly for higher education) open to Indiana residents. The scholarships are listed in order of application deadline. Each entry lists which schools the scholarships can be used, the value of and criteria for the scholarship, contact information and web addresses, and the deadline. Scholarships to trade schools and for military training are also included.

  • Occurring in early February each year, College Goal Sunday brings financial aid officers and students needing to apply for financial aid together to fill out FAFSA forms on-site. This website lists local locations for the event, a variety of student and parent resources, and most importantly, a list of the documents you will need to bring with you to College Goal Sunday.

  • This website contains information about filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form everyone has to fill out to get financial aid (including scholarships and work study) from the government, federal or state. The forms themselves are available through electronic filing, printable PDF for mailing, or paper form by telephone request. The website also includes FAFSA worksheets, a school code search, information about deadlines, and a link to the PIN website, where you can get the PIN needed to file the FAFSA (and which you will need if you are attending College Goal Sunday).

  • FastWeb is a long-standing, free, non-governmental scholarship search website that also includes financial aid and personal finance information. In addition to a scholarship search, the site contains tips and how-to videos, financial aid calculators, college and career planning, and a special section on military training.

  • More than just a scholarship search website, FinAid is also a guide to financial aid in general, including scholarships, loans, savings plans, military aid, and other types of aid. The website also includes financial aid calculators, tips on filling out paperwork, and an "Ask the Aid Advisor" feature.

  • This powerful and accurate tool from the national Center for College Costs allows students and parents to see the net cost of attending various schools, including side-by-side comparisons. It also allows them to see how costs change in relation to financial and academic changes and other "what if" scenarios. More than just a cost estimator, this website includes detailed information on financial aid, saving, upcoming local events, and college visits. This website also lets you create an account to save your information so you can easily come back to it in the future.

  • Indiana started the Twenty-first Century Scholars in 1990 to ensure that every student can afford a college education. Income-eligible 7th and 8th graders who enroll in the program and fulfill a pledge of good citizenship are guaranteed to receive up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana.
    This website features sections for new applicants, parents, and high school seniors who have been enrolled in the program since middle school, as well as a general information section. A list of deadlines for enrolled students is included, as well as online and telephone support options.
  • Ivy Tech's financial aid page provides good information about paying for school, including basic FAFSA information, how-to videos, work study options, and web pages dedicated to scholarships, loans, and grants.

  • The National Merit Corporation is an independent not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance and conducts two privately financed annual competitions: the National Merit Scholarship Program and the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Information about the scholarship application process, as well as forms for entry, can be found on this website. To qualify, you must take the PSAT your junior year in high school - talk to your high school counselor about registering for the test.

  • Maintained by the Consumer Protection Bureau of the Federal Trade Commission, the website keeps an updated list of companies known to be involved in scholarship scams, including aliases. The website also includes signs to watch for to avoid scams and information, including a video, on how to file a complaint.

  • Maintained by Indiana University's Office of Scholarships, this website primarily lists scholarships available to incoming freshmen in six scholarship categories: Automatic academic, selective, Cox Scholar, National Scholar Program, nomination, and financial need and merit. In addition, it provides links to Indiana University school, department, and college scholarship web pages (not limited to incoming freshmen), the Phi Theta Kappa Transfer scholarship, and additional scholarship opportunities.

  • This website is maintained by the U. S. Department of Education, and has a wide variety of resources for planning, funding, and finding higher education options.  Detailed sections on of the kinds of aid available and repaying student loans are included in addition to a host of calculators and college and career searches.


  • This free, online database is run by the Institute for Higher Education Policy and is designed to complement the KnowHow2Go campaign. It allows students and parents to search for a variety of higher education planning resources: academic support; college preparation, planning, and applying; and test preparation. The database allows searchers to limit results in a number of powerful ways aside from type of resource: by audience (middle school, high school, parent/guardian); by cost (free/for purchase); by language (English/Spanish/other); and by training (training/no training required to use the resource).

  • This online database from test preparation company Peterson's combines test preparation, college planning, and career research, and is available through the Indiana State Library's INSPIRE virtual library. Tests that are covered include the GED, SAT, PSAT and ACT, as well as the CLEP, DSST, and SAT subject tests. The career section also has test preparation for the military (ASVAB and AFOQT), teaching (PRAXIS), automotive repair (ASE), and many more careers. It is especially useful for both college/university searches, as well as vocational/technical school searches. A resume builder for college applications and a scholarship search are also included. The most useful feature of this database is that it allows the user to create an account in order to keep track of their place in test-taking, college essay writing, or school/scholarship searches.

    Go to the INSPIRE database, and then click "Testing and Education Reference Center" at the bottom-left of the page.

Reference Resources

  • R 378.15 Col

    The College Blue Book (6 vol. set) is a guide to thousands of 2- and 4-year schools in the U.S. and Canada. It covers the expected listings and detailed descriptions, degree programs offered, scholarships, and occupational education programs. Volume One is Narrative Descriptions, providing contact information, descriptions, entrance requirements, and collegiate and community environments for each school by state (and by province in Canada). Indexes of U. S. and Canadian colleges are included. Volume 2 is Tabular Data, and includes information about costs, accreditation, enrollment figures, faculty, and administrative officers, as well as indexes of intercollegiate athletics and professional accreditations. Volume 3 is Degrees Offered by College and Subject, and is broken into two parts: Part I details subject areas for which degrees are offered by college, and Part II lists degrees offered by subject area. Volume 4 covers the more than 6000 schools in the U. S. that provide Occupational Education or technical training, including information on tuition, enrollment, and entrance requirements, as well as providing an index to curricula and areas of instruction. Volume 5 is Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants and Loans. It lists these financial aid sources  by type (general; area and environmental studies; humanities; life, medical, physical and social sciences; and technology) as well as providing subject, level of education, sponsoring organization, and title of award indexes.  Volume 6 covers Distance Learning, and offers general information about planning, preparing, and paying for, as well as selecting distance education programs. In addition, this volume provides a glossary, institutional profiles, and three indexes: institutions offering degree and certificate programs, non-degree-related course subject areas, and geographical listing of distance learning programs.

  • R 378.15 Col

    This comprehensive reference to today's academic programs provides in-depth descriptions of more than 1,100 majors while listing 3,800 colleges that offer profiled undergraduate and graduate degrees, sharing additional insights into how specific majors can translate into careers. The full descriptions of majors include what each major is about, what kind of person might want to take the major, and what the study of the major is like. Recommended high school preparation, typical courses, concentrations, related majors, questions to ask colleges, career options and trends, and insider viewpoints are also included. This book also offers a glossary, one-sentence descriptions of majors, listings of colleges by major and combined bachelor/graduate programs, and an index of majors.

  • R 378.15 Com

    Published by the Princeton Review, this book lists colleges and universities (but not trade or military schools) alphabetically, and provides basic student and faculty, academic, facilities, campus life, admissions, and cost/financial aid information. Each school is rated by the Princeton Review by admissions selectivity, fire safety, and green (environmental awareness and responsibility). A section called "School says" provides information directly from schools that have chosen to pay Princeton Review for inclusion, and a number of indexes (schools by alphabet, location, size, tuition, and selectivity) are included as well.

  • R 378.3 Get

    Published by the College Board, this book has four main sections. Financial Aid Step by Step takes you from a basic consideration of how financial aid will work for you, through choosing schools based on cost, filling out financial aid forms, looking for scholarships, to weighing offers and into your higher education years. Tables and worksheets provide help with planning, applications, and estimating cost. Financial Aid college by college presents an alphabetical list of schools with school codes, basic costs, financial aid picture summaries and procedures, and contact information. A glossary and scholarship lists (academic, art, athletic, music/drama, and ROTC) round out the book.

  • R 378.34 Col

    This book shares authoritative coverage of the extensive body of scholarship, internship, and loan programs from a variety of groups and agencies, in a reference indexed by eligibility qualifications that includes a planning calendar and organizational worksheets. The eligibility indexes include corporate/employer, disabilities, field of study/intended career, gender, international student, military participation, minority status, national/ethnic background, organization/civic affiliation, religious affiliation, returning adult, state of residence, and study abroad. Each entry includes type of award, intended use, eligibility, basis for selection, requirements, deadline and notification dates, and contact information. Sponsor and program indexes are included as well.

Movies & Music

  • Music 4 Da Soul Records
    378.3409 Fou

    This DVD covers the basics on finding scholarships and other financial aid. It includes a section on the different kinds of financial aid (need and merit-based, federal and state) and one on filling out aid applications, including personal essays. It also examines how programs decide who gets financial aid. Tips for negotiating with financial aid offices to get the best possible aid package are also provided.