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Higher Education Resources

The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System has compiled a list of resources for individuals preparing for the ACT Test, entering and researching college and financial aid options, as well as scholarship resources. This is not an exhaustive list and is meant to serve as a starting point for higher education resource information. For more tailored assistance in finding the resources you're interested in, call the library at 662-329-5300 for help from a librarian.

ACT Prep Resources
ACT Prep Resorces

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ACT Test Prep

Find official ACT prep courses from self-led to live classes, as well as tutoring that includes a fee. Those interested can submit contact information for a free ACT guide to be sent to them, as well as find free ACT test subject questions that include math, English, science, and reading practice questions. Free resources include online test prep events, a free practice test and study guide, free ACT prep sample classes, and more.


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Kaplan Free ACT Events

Kaplan offers free ACT prep events, but the events fill quickly, so additional resources are available on the site. Similar to the official ACT website, Kaplan offers live, self-paced, and test prep tutoring options for a fee. Resources and information for parents is also included.


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Free ACT Practice Tests with Varsity Tutors

Varsity Tutors offers diagnostic tests to gauge where students are starting, along with practice tests in each subject area. Tests include average time spent and difficulty meters to indicate how long the practice tests will take as well as how challenging they have been considered to be. Additional award-winning tutoring services are offered, with ACT tutor profiles that allow students to get to know who will be tutoring them, including the tutor's own subject area scores from their own tests. 


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ACT Prep Resources curated by the Mississippi College Access Project

The Mississippi College Access Project has provided a list of resources that can be valuable for students looking to prepare for the ACT test. The list includes an explanation of how to use Khan Academy for test prep, as well as information from Seneca Learning. Fee waiver information is also provided, but test dates are not current.


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ACT Prep Resources curated by The Mississippi Library Commission

The Mississippi Library Commission has provided a list of additional resources for ACT test prep with sites that do not require account activations or set ups, and that offer free practice tests. Other options require accounts, but provide scoring and reviews with the practice tests offered. In addition to ACT prep, this list from MLC provides GRE and GED test prep and practice resources as well.

College Prep Resources
College Prep Resources

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FAFSA: Federal Student Aid

Colleges and career schools use the FAFSA form to determine how much financial aid you're eligible to receive, which could include grants, scholarships, work-study funds, and loans.

You must apply for aid every year. Any student, regardless of income, who wants to be considered for federal, state, and school financial aid programs should fill out the application. The application requires a verified account username and password (FSA ID), a parent or spouse contributor name, date of birth, social security number, an email address, and income and asset information. Information taken from the FAFSA website.


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Open Education Database

OEDb is a comprehensive online education directory for both free and for-credit learning options that offers up-to-date, detailed program information from accredited online colleges for degree seekers and categorizes free online college courses from well-known universities and providers. Open courses are also available for additional educational opportunities from award-winning universities that can be downloaded to a personal device for listening and viewing. Additional resources include an advice guide and financial aid assistance.   


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Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid

Formerly RISE UP Mississippi, the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid provides state-specific information for students, counselors, teachers, students, and more. Those interested can apply for financial aid, locate test prep resources, learn about available scholarships and grants, as well as find information about forgivable loans and repayment, etc. The site's frequently asked questions (FAQs) page serves as an informative starting point for the organization's full scope of services.   


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Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides guided information about thousands of careers with data sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The handbook provides a variety of details for career choices, including but not limited to specific career information about median pay, the career's specific outlook, the rate at which the career changes, information about entry-level education requirements, and more. This website can provide insights and predictions regarding prospective careers for students or those looking to change career paths.

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College Board

College Board is a non-profit organization whose mission is helping students attain a college education. The College Board's Big Future program assists students in planning and paying for college while also exploring career opportunities after higher education. Further services include helping students to register for standardized testing, accessing their test scores, assisting parents to compare colleges and universities by cost effectiveness, and more.


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Online U

Online U is a website dedicated to comparing online colleges and universities for those looking to attend, transfer, etc. an online higher education institution. Online U curates themed lists of online colleges and universities based on attributes, such as most affordable online colleges, online colleges by state, student resources, the kinds of degrees available through online programs, and more. The site's homepage as of 2024 lists the most affordable online colleges and universities, the most popular online institutions, as well as online institutions known for being military friendly.


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Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Advice for Choosing A College

The Federal Trade Commission provides an overview to approaching a higher education institution that is right for each student. The site discusses how to begin the path of choosing a college or university to attend based on one's future career goals as a guiding factor. Further information about researching colleges and universities, understanding accreditation, and information for military service members is also provided.


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Center for Online Education

The Center for Online Education is an independent organization that aims to provide prospective students with information about online higher education institutions so that they are informed about their options when determining which institution to attend. The site lists institutions by the degrees they offer, online rankings, colleges by location, provides resources for understanding what institutions provide, and more.


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The Institute for Education Science National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator Tool

The Institute for Education Science's NCES College Navigator Tool allows interested searchers to locate colleges and universities through a search tool with a variety of search limiters. Limiters include an institution's state, programs and degrees, the institution type, and more. Featured resources include information about financial aid, postsecondary education outcome measures, understanding college affordability, and more.


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Community College Review

Community College Review focuses on curating information for those interested in attending community colleges for their educational purposes. The site provides top lists of community colleges, college guides, financial aid information, and more. The site also focuses on discussions regarding college life, looking at community college housing options, writing assistance for community college students, and more.

Scholarship Resources
Scholarship Resources

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Federal Student Aid Scholarship Information

The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site provides information regarding scholarships, what they are, and how to obtain them successfully. The site guides interested parties through locating the scholarships right for them and their educational needs, while providing guidance on when and how to apply for the scholarships they identify as fitting their requirements. Additional information such as how scholarships affect other financial aid sources, how scholarship money is awarded, and more is also provided.


Click the logo above to be redirected to the resource. aims to simplify the scholarship research process by matching prospective applicants with the scholarships that fit their needs. The site vets the scholarships it lists and is a free service for anyone looking for additional financial aid avenues. The site is home to a college scholarship directory, and provides students with a platform for organizing their scholarship information while continuing to apply to scholarships through the site at the same time.


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Scholarship Owl

Scholarship Owl serves to inform prospective scholarship applicants about the right financial aid options for their journeys, and boasts reviews from ABC News, NBC News, and other major media outlets. The scholarship finder asks searchers to answer questions about themselves to begin their scholarship matching journey in order to pair them with the scholarships that will best serve them upon application. Further resources include information for parents, counselors, and more.


Click the logo above to be redirected to the resource. approaches student debt as a problem to solve, and aims to match students with the financial aid scholarships that are right for them. Resources regarding financial aid assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and more are provided in an effort to connect students to organizations and resources that will help them to be debt free after higher education. The site also provides information for interested donors who would like to join bold's mission to prevent further student debt struggles in the future.

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