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May 17, 2011 > Alameda County Library News: Attention College Bound!

Alameda County Library News: Attention College Bound!

Submitted By Jui-lan Liu, Fremont Main Library

As costs for college education soar, it may no longer seem affordable. In addition to cost, decisions also have to be made regarding which college to attend. To help teens and their parents sort through the maze of college applications, Alameda County Library is presenting programs for the college bound on how to choose the right college and get financial aid. Teens and their parents are invited to attend.

These FREE workshops will be presented by Vicki O'Day, founder of Willows College Consulting, and a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA).

Finding Colleges That Fit
Expect to learn how to focus on finding a good fit in your college search process. Topics include:
* The elements of fit-academic, social, and financial
* Developing your own college criteria
* Resources for finding new colleges to consider
* Keeping an open mind and making trade-offs
* Timelines

This program will be presented at the Union City Library on Wednesday, May 18 at 6:30 pm and at the Fremont Main Library on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m.

College Affordability:
This will be an in-depth presentation on how college finances work and how you can find colleges that will be an excellent financial fit. Topics include:
* Costs of college
* Expected family contribution
* Federal and state aid
* Need-based aid and merit aid from colleges
* How to save for college
* Strategies for finding great colleges that also fit your family finances.

Tri-City libraries had this workshop in early May but it will be repeated at the Dublin Library on Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m.

To learn about coming programs of all kinds at the libraries, go to, mouse over the word "Events" in the dark blue bar under the banner and click on "All Library Events." You will see a listing of programs for all Alameda County libraries, but you can use the drop down menus to limit the listings to just one branch or type of program if you wish.

Alameda County Library has many resources to help with college applications. Go to, mouse over the word "Teen" in the dark blue bar under the banner and click on "Schools & College." Click on the second bullet point, "Colleges" and you will find links to information about finance, touring colleges online, and profiles of thousands of schools.

Some databases Alameda County Library subscribes to can be especially helpful. Besides live homework help and test preparation, Brainfuse offers comprehensive writing assistance (application essays, for example) through live writing assistance and premium writing lab. Students receive live writing assistance from Brainfuse tutors via an online classroom, which features intuitive copy/paste technology and secure file sharing. Brainfuse's premium writing lab offers students a level of analysis that is simply not possible during a live session.

Students submit papers via their secure file sharing feature (no email address required) and their writing experts carefully analyze each paper with respect to voice, word choice, content, sentence fluency, and organization. Papers (complete with constructive comments) are returned to students within 24 hours. To access Brainfuse, log on to, mouse over the word "Teens" in the dark blue stripe under the banner, and select Homework Help. Click on the box below. You'll have to register a username and password if you have never used it before.

Learning Express' College Preparation section includes free, timed practice tests online for AP subjects, ACT, SAT, general high school subjects, and other types of exams. There is also a component called College Admissions Preparation with guides to writing and proofreading these essays in e-book format. To check out Learning Express, go to and mouse over the word Research in the dark blue stripe under the banner, and select A-Z Resources. Click on the "L" tab and then on Learning Express Library. You will need your library card number to proceed. Once in, College Preparation is in the left pane. You will also need to register and create a username/password in order to take the tests and use the e-books.

A few of the print books on our shelves include:
In! college admissions and beyond : the experts' proven strategy for success / Lillian Luterman and Jennifer Bloom
378.16109 LUTERMAN

I'm going to college--not you! : surviving the college search with your child / edited by Jennifer Delahunty
378.198 I'M

Peterson's how to get money for college : financing your future beyond federal aid

Paying for college : answers to all your questions about financial aid, scholarships, tuition payment plans, and everything else you need to know
378.30973 PAYING

For more information about teen programs, resources or teen services in general, please contact the Teen Librarian at your Tri-City branch:

Fremont Main Library: Beth Buchanan
Centerville and Irvington libraries: Elizabeth Gamell,
Niles library: Sally Kusalo,
Newark Library: Kathleen Hannon,
Union City Library: Mira Geroy,

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