For high school juniors wondering what to do over the winter break, the Maryland Higher Education Commission has a couple of suggestions: research colleges and financial aid.

“The holiday break is a perfect time for students to search for colleges,” said Dr. Calvin W. Burnett, Secretary of Higher Education. “It is also a good time to become familiar with scholarships and other types of financial aid that are available. As much as possible, students should be prepared before senior year to avoid delays.  The earlier you apply, the greater the chance you have of gaining entrance to college and receiving aid.”

Following are useful resources and websites for students seeking higher education information:

Recommended resources and websites:

·        The Maryland Higher Education Commission provides a comprehensive list of Maryland colleges, universities, and private career schools, along with financial aid sources and how-to’s at From the website students and parents may download the 2006-2007 edition of the “Student Guide to Higher Education and Financial Aid in Maryland,” which offers thumbnail sketches of every college and university in Maryland, a list of academic programs offered in the state and details about state financial aid programs.

·        The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators provides information about financial aid and related information at

·        The U.S. Department of Education is a great starting point for information on education after high school and how to pay for it –

· is a one-stop-shop for all types of financial aid information.

·        Sallie Mae is helpful for student loan borrowers. It features calculators that determine how much it costs to repay loans –

·        College Scholarship Financial Aid Profile – The College Board has downloadable applications for the form required by certain colleges –

·        UNCF/The College Fund – Lists scholarships available to students attending historically black colleges that are members of the Fund –

·        FastWEB – list thousands of private scholarships available. This site