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Choosing and Paying for College: Start Here

This guide will help you find reliable information on colleges, universities, financial aid and scholarships.

Use the College Source Database @ STLCC Libraries

This is a great database to find college catalogs for 2-year, 4-year, graduate, and professional schools in the U.S. and throughout the world.
  • College Source Online features over 22,669 college catalogs in complete cover-to-cover, original page format. In addition to college catalogs, access to web sites and a transcript key is provided when available.
  • Use the Advanced Search feature for options that includes a choice to do a criteria search. A criteria search allows you to search by public or private U.S. schools, majors, tuition, enrollment, degrees and more.
  • The Advances Search feature also offers a geographic search option.

Use the Learning Express Library Database

PrepSTEP for Colleges, EBSCO Learning Express,  is a collection of tools for skill-building, test preparation and career development and more. Select the "more..." link above to see everything this valuable database has to offer. To get the most out of  PrepSTEP for Colleges, create an account.. The account is free, just select  the "Sign In / Register" button at the top of the page. NOTE: Access from off-campus requires STLCC students and staff "authenticate" before getting access to the database. Easy directions are provided.

College Reality Check, College Affordability & Transparency Center

College Reality Check  (select this link to visit the site)

Your Education, Your Investment: Your degree should work as hard as you do!

College Reality Check is produced by The Chronicle of Higher Education with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the Web site is to share facts and figures that students, parents, and counselors should weigh in making decisions about college. These factors, often overlooked, include colleges’ graduation rates and net price, how much it will take each month to pay off student loans, and how much a graduate might potentially earn. - Check it out!

CollegeFish is FREE to all currently enrolled community college students. Click on the image below to go to and then select "Log in" to create a free student account. is a FREE tool for both community colleges and their students.

  • Students can research colleges, get organized, and successfully plan and prepare for community college completion and transfer. Including access to transfer guides, college and university transfer programming, and over $37 million in transfer scholarships, CollegeFish provides a number interactive, online resources to keep students on track and support the community college staff who serve them.
  • is dedicated to connecting students to completion & transfer from their first day on campus. It provides easy to follow, step-by-step support for students and facilitates effective, efficient advising and transfer planning sessions, workshops, and lessons.

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Planning & Paying for College

Comments or Suggestions?

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions about this guide? Do  you know of a website or resource to add? Please contact::

Sharon Fox, Professor/Reference Librarian


St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000