News from the Reference Desk Category: Education

New Guidelines for FAFSA

There have been some changes made to the filing process for the federal student aid application FAFSA. For the 2016-2017 school year, the application process is open. This application uses data from the 2015 tax return.  The open date for the 2017-2018 school year is going to be October 1, 2016. This application will also use data from the 2015 tax return.  Applications for the 2018-2019 school year 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.

Access to Online Courses

Gale Courses

Never stop learning.  Whether you’re looking for college-level, professional development, or personal enrichment courses, Mount Prospect now offers hundreds of online courses that are accessible anywhere online, 24/7. Gale Courses offer well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with fellow students.

Gale Courses offers access to online learning courses that are available anytime, anywhere, any place. Other benefits include:

  • Courses are free for all patrons interested in any discipline
  • Gale Courses is easy to use; you use your library account to sign up and log in
  • With six-week courses, you can join programs year-round

Gain valuable knowledge you can immediately apply to your life or on the job. There’s definitely something for everyone:

Career & Professional Development: Many courses are tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fastest-growing occupations. Examples include: Accounting, Resume Writing, Business and Management, Grant Writing and Nonprofit, Real Estate, Healthcare, and Sales and Marketing.

  • Computers & Technology: Courses cover all skill levels from beginner to advanced, even focusing on specific software applications. Examples include: Introduction to the Microsoft Office Suite, Database Management, Graphic and Multimedia Design, and The Internet.
  • Personal Enrichment: A wide array of courses truly offers the opportunity to transform lives, whether related to hobbies, education, or life resources. Examples include: Children, Parents, & Family, Digital Photography, Health &Wellness, and Test Prep.

Contact us at reference@mppl.org to learn how you can benefit from this great resource.  Or visit http://mppl.org/webresources/gale-courses/ to get started.

Free DMV Permit Practice Tests

You can take free permit driving tests for car or motorcycle through our web resources page with our new site, Driving Test Prep. These are multiple choice questions and you can see the results immediately. Also available are practice tests for the CDL (commercial driver’s licence). This is an excellent resource for new drivers but also a great way to test your knowledge even if you’ve been driving for decades.

Talk to Your Teens About Money

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.

Britannica Library

britannica libraryThe Library now subscribes to the excellent and authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica’s online presence, Britannica Library. Explore thousands of topics in science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics for school projects, review concepts taught in the classroom, or learn something new. Very impressive are the more than 90,000 images, videos, and audio clips. There are 3 levels – children’s, teen, and adult – with great information for everyone. It would be easy to spend an afternoon or evening exploring here.