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Prior to the college application process, both libraries offer the interactive computer aid Brainfuse, which can be accessed on library computers, and outside the library computers. Library patrons need only internet access and a library card for login. Brainfuse offers SAT practice essays and tests, in addition to homework help and live tutor aid.

Ardmore Library

by Laura Eastes

For high school seniors and their parents, it’s college application season. A time of learning terms like FAFSA and SATs, reviewing student loans, submitting applications and making big decisions.

Many look to the guidance of a high school counselor for help or turn to the web, but another resource in southern Oklahoma is the library.

The Ardmore Public Library and the Davis Public Library are both home to Plan4College Centers, which are operated by Oklahoma GearUp grant funding. The center features computers dedicated to only college admission information, research and services for post secondary training.

It is ideal for families and students and serves as a one-stop shop for college information, local librarians say.

“We are excited about this service for our students and their families,” said Jonathan Edwards, branch manager at the Davis library. “Our goal is to help create a ‘college-going’ culture in our community by providing the knowledge needed for positive educational success.”

At the Plan4College Center, parents and students can research colleges, compare schools, look at costs, apply to colleges and learn about financial aid options. The center also offers preparation tips for what to expect once a student commits to a college.

The center is not just for high school seniors. The tools offered on the computer and handouts are geared for students in grades 5 through 12.
“We have flyers about how to work with your child in the seventh and eighth grade to get towards college,” says Lorena Smith, public services librarian at Ardmore. “It also has materials in Spanish.”

Gear Up4 College is a national initiative to encourage more American youth to have high expectations, stay in school, study, and take courses to prepare them for college. The initiative is also integrated into public schools as well as libraries.

Prior to the college application process, both libraries offer the interactive computer aid Brainfuse, which can be accessed on library computers, and outside the library computers. Library patrons need only internet access and a library card for login. Brainfuse offers SAT practice essays and tests, in addition to homework help and live tutor aid.

Thursday marked the first day high school seniors can submit the nationwide financial aid application, known as FAFSA, for the upcoming school year. The form is key for determining where financial aid may be available for a student through federal government, state government and schools. The application is available at fafsa.ed.gov

More information about the FAFSA form and other financial aid options is also available through the Plan4College Center.