Wives and mothers who return to school and worry about how they and their families will cope may find Anne Bianchi's book comforting.

"Smart Choices: A Woman's Guide to Returning to School," recently published by Peterson's, offers advice from Bianchi, a New York psychologist, and first-hand accounts from women who have been there.The $9.95 paperback tells what financial aid is available and how to apply for it and what services such as child care and career counseling are available.

As examples, not only is financial aid available at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., but there is no deadline for completing a degree. Chatham College in Pittsburgh provides a low-cost dormitory for students with children, as well as nearby child-care facilities.