Be Smart About Financial Aid
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), chaired by Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne), is encouraging college-bound students and their families to visit MySmartBorrowing.org
to help make informed choices about student loans. This free, easy-to-use tool helps users understand how different career, school and financial decisions can influence the cost of an education and their ability to repay student loans, while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle long after graduation. The site was recently updated with enhanced college and career projection data through 2026. This includes expected college costs for various majors at different schools and future employment opportunities and salary levels for different careers and geographic locations. This data helps provide a personalized look at a student’s potential cost of attendance at different schools, while highlighting salary expectations for a particular degree and future employment prospects. Students are encouraged to use the site more than once so they can compare different scenarios, using different schools and careers, to see how the choices they make can affect their futures. For more information about financial aid opportunities, visit PHEAA.org
Save for College with State 529 Plan
For families looking to plan for higher education, the Pennsylvania Treasury offers the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), in which growth is tied to the rate of college tuition inflation, and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which offers 15 investment options by The Vanguard Group. Contributions to PA 529 plans are deductible from Pennsylvania income taxes, grow tax free, and, when used for qualified educational expenses, are federal and state tax exempt. Both plans provide flexibility to pay for higher education expenses at most higher education institutions across the country. The PA 529 GSP is designed to enable your savings to help keep pace with the rising costs of higher education. The PA 529 GSP contributions grow at the rate of tuition inflation but are subject to fees and premiums. The PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) is offering free enrollment – a $50 savings – for all new accounts opened before Aug. 31, at PA529.com
. Use code “SUMMERGSP”
when prompted. The PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options. No enrollment fee is charged for the PA 529 IP.
Slow Down for School Buses, Pedestrians
As students head back to school, it’s important for motorists. to refresh their memories about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles. Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety. Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws will result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension. Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus. Visit PennDOT.gov
for more information about school bus safety.
Get the Facts About Concussions
With fall sports underway, students, parents and coaches are reminded about ways to prevent, recognize and manage concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Concussions can have serious short-term and long-term impacts, especially on young people whose brains are still developing. In 2011, the Safety in Youth Sports Act was signed into law in Pennsylvania, requiring all school entities to develop return-to-play policies for student athletes with concussions, as well as requiring related training for coaches. Visit the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov
and search for “Traumatic Brain Injury” for approved curricula for coaches and other school personnel, along with frequently asked questions about the law and many other state-related resources. Most importantly, if you think your child has a concussion, seek medical attention, discuss the injury with the coach and don’t allow the athlete to return to play without permission from a health care professional.
Representative Mike Peifer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler