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It's time to think about college

Library has resources for those graduating from high school


For high school juniors and seniors and their families, the start of the new year and the conclusion of the first semester are signs that it’s time to get serious about college testing (SATs and ACTs), college applications and, of course, financial aid applications. West Linn Public Library is here to help with the process.

The library has a wide range of Kaplan, Princeton Review and Barron’s SAT and ACT prep books. For a quick overview of key concepts, a full-length practice test with complete answer explanations and valuable stress-management tips, try Kaplan’s “SAT Strategies for Super Busy Students: 10 Simple Steps (For Students Who Don’t Want to Spend Their Whole Lives Preparing For the Test).” The same book is available for the ACT.

In addition to books, your Clackamas County library card gives you access to electronic resources for SAT and ACT preparation (along with a multitude of other educational tests, including the GRE). Go to lincc.org, click the “Online Resources” link, then the “Learning Express” link. You’ll be asked to log in with your library card number and PIN and then you’ll need to register for a free personal account with Learning Express. Select “College Preparation,” then either “SAT Preparation” or “ACT Preparation.”

With SAT and ACT tests done, the next step is looking at college options. The library has many books to guide your selection process. In addition to guidebooks listing four-year colleges, the library’s college collection has information about two-year colleges and colleges for students with special needs. Peterson’s “Two-Year Colleges 2014” includes information on more than 1,900 accredited two-year undergraduate institutions, including community colleges, in the United States and Canada, as well as some international schools. Find out what you need to know about two-year colleges, information on associate degree programs and advice on transferring credits.

Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik’s “The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford” is the definitive one-stop guide to the college selection and payment process, covering everything from basic timelines and tuition costs to predicting your scholarship award from colleges and taking ownership of student debt after graduation. Some chapters are written for parents and some are addressed directly to students. It also includes the seven biggest myths about paying for college, a step-by-step guide to completing the FAFSA, profiles of selected schools with exceptional merit and how to actually negotiate with the financial aid office.

Finally, on a lighter and more delicious note, “Cook Your Way Through the SAT” by Charis Freiman-Mendel is a delectable way to master frequently-asked SAT vocabulary. Serve your RAVENOUS appetite for learning with this INNOVATIVE book. Each of the 99 easy, enjoyable recipes is matched with a fun-fact blurb containing 10 SAT words. Wondering why onions STIMULATE the LACHRYMAL glands or how Gorgonzola cheese ACQUIRES its blue color? Memorizing SAT vocabulary doesn’t have to be an arduous task. Retain 1,000 words while simultaneously becoming an adept chef. This book is a great tool for assuaging those pre-SAT fears.



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