Well, the holidays are over and it’s the start of another year–and another opportunity to reevaluate your financial life and practices, woo-hoo! The good news is that it just got a lot easier, thanks to all the wonderful resources and tools available at Smart About Money (SAM). Smart About Money is one of the many programs of the National Endowment for Financial Education®. NEFE® is an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals. They offer tips, strategies and information on diverse topics like crisis and fraud, saving and investing, spending and borrowing, housing and transportation, taxes and more.
Click through and take a look at some of the tools like the Life Values Quiz, designed to help you better understand how and why you make financial decisions. Knowing your own habits and patterns is the first step to making positive changes in your financial life!
It’s one of the things we all hear so much over the course of our lives–“find what you love to do and make it your career.” And while many have managed to find ways to accomplish this, for most of us it’s easier said than done. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or that you shouldn’t even contemplate the possibility. The folks over at Practical Money Skills (produced by Visa, and one of the partners in this year’s Financial Literacy Summit held in April to kick off Money Smart Week) have put together a few strategies and guidelines to consider HERE if you’re someone who is looking to make a change in their life and career.
There have been some changes made to the filing process for the federal student aid application FAFSA. For the 2016-2017 schoolyear, the application process is open. This application uses data from the 2015 tax return. The open date for the 2017-2018 schoolyear is going to be October 1, 2016. This application will also use data from the 2015 tax return. Applications for the 2018-2019 schoolyear will open on October 1, 2017. This application will use data from the 2016 tax return. A chart showing all this information can be found at this website It is possible to complete the FAFSA form and file it online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
It’s the time of year when many of us make decisions about our employee benefits for the coming year–“open enrollment” season. The Office of Financial Education, a part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, offers this sound advice:
You can guide your children in finding the financial help they need
The financial world of today isn’t the same world you grew up in. New services and choices are being offered all the time. For your children to navigate the new financial world they’ll face, they need to know when to seek out information and how to evaluate it. Your children need practice making money choices, and they could use your guidance. At this age they may be earning some money of their own. Now, as you make benefits choices for next year, think about including your teenager in your decision-making process. You can help your teenager think about how to use information to make a good decision. If you have benefits fact sheets or Web sites from your employer, sit with your teenager and go through them. Talk through the questions your child has, and ask a few questions of your own:
What is the most important thing to think about for the family’s health care? Why?
Have there been any changes in the family since last year that could make a difference to health care? To insurance? To flexible spending dollars?
What could be the advantages or disadvantages of having benefits deducted from your paycheck, compared to paying the costs on your own?
How trustworthy is the information you receive? How would you look for further information?
You don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do normally, when you make your benefits choices. Just by showing your teens how you approach enrollment, you’re helping them practice the decision-making process before their own paychecks are at stake. For more ideas, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/parents.
Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center‘s four comprehensive school search databases offer detailed profiles of undergraduate, graduate, nursing, and vocational and technical schools in the United States and Canada, providing an indispensable tool for students researching and planning their education. Frequent updates keep the data–from Peterson’s Nelnet, LLC–current, accurate, and reliable.
The undergraduate school search, for instance, offers in one convenient place the most current information on more than 4,500 schools in the United States, Canada, and related regions that offer two-year and/or four-year degrees. All schools included have full accreditation or are pre-accredited and grant degrees at the associate’s and/or bachelor’s level. Users can search based on location, institution type, enrollment, faculty/student ratio, tuition, sports, campus setting, campus housing, admissions difficulty level, and areas of study.
Coming Soon: Significant updates to the graduate school data!
Harper College has started an Alternative Electrical Energy Certificate. The College’s solar energy course – a first step toward the new Alternative Electrical Energy Certificate – drew 16 students for the fall term. Launched by a $63,000 Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation grant, which helped with the purchase of new lab equipment, Harper added a wind energy course to the curriculum this spring. The entire Alternative Energy Certificate program, geared to those already in the industrial electronics industry and those just starting out, requires credits in solar and wind energy and a variety of other electronics courses.
The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs assists veterans, their dependents and survivors in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to under the laws of the United States, and the State of Illinois or any other governmental agency, through its forty-three Veterans' Services Offices located statewide; to evaluate and approve veterans' education and training programs available at colleges, universities and vocational training centers in Illinois, to provide skilled nursing and domiciliary care for eligible veterans; and administer State grants and benefits to eligible Illinois veterans.
The guidebook, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Veterans, is available online.
Need a good starting point to review college and financial aid information? Here are a few suggested sources to consider.
Take a look at our Teen Zone: College & Career page and also our Web Resources by Subject on Research & Reference: Education & College Search.
We have an online version of Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans: A Guide to Education-Related Financial Aid Programs for Students and Professionals accessible through the Gale Virtual Reference Center. Please ask one of our Reference Librarians to assist you in locating any of these items.
The following titles are available in our College Reference area:
CT R 378.34 COL The College Board Scholarship Handbook
CT R 378.34 SCH Scholarship Almanac (Peterson’s/Thomson Learning)
CT R 378.34 COL Getting Financial Aid (College Board)
CT R 378.3 SCH The Scholarship Book
CT R 378.3 PET 2009 Scholarships, Grants and Prizes (Peterson’s)
These titles can also be checked out:
DVD 378.3409 FOU 411 on Finding College Funds
378.34 ULT The Ultimate Scholarship Book
378.34 SCH Scholarships (Kaplan)
378.3097 TAN 501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College
378.1616 COL College Essays That Made a Difference (Princeton Review)
Two additional recommended sites are FAFSA and fastweb.com.
The Rita and John Canning Women's Program at Harper College supports the education and employment goals of people in economic need. These may be single parents, displaced homemakers, women who have experienced domestic violence, non-traditional career seekers or those with limited English proficiency. The program gives the opportunity to build computer skills, career development, and job searching assistance.