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THE PRINCETON REVIEW STUDENT ACCESS GUIDE TO PAYING FOR COLLEGE/1996 EDITION, by Kalman A. Chany with Geoff Martz (Random House, 288 pp., $18).

This is one of the clearest and most practical books on college financial aid. Its main thrust is how to maximize one's eligibility for aid, regardless of income. The book includes sample aid applications and a list of state agencies that have information about state aid.

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YOU CAN AFFORD COLLEGE: THE FAMILY GUIDE TO MEETING COLLEGE COSTS, by Bart Astor (Bantam Doubleday Dell/Kaplan, 184 pp., $14.95).

Two particularly useful chapters address how a family is evaluated and how to compare and negotiate aid packages. The book is packed with sample applications, grant and loan tables, and a section that compiles cost and aid data for more than 150 schools.

DON'T MISS OUT: THE AMBITIOUS STUDENT'S GUIDE TO FINANCIAL AID, by Anna Leider and Robert Leider (Octameron Associates, 167 ppg., $7.50).

This well-researched but dense book covers both the misconceptions and fundamentals of financial aid. It shows how to eliminate costly aid mistakes and tap into state higher-education resources. For a copy, write to: Octameron Associates Inc., P.O. Box 2748, Alexandria, VA, 22301, or call (703) 836-5480.

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