Monday, August 24, 2009

Free student financial aid guide

HARRISBURG — The newest student aid guide has been made available from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, according to a press release from PHEAA.

The guide, which is free, offers information on federal student aid and the process for application, as well as detailed information on all state student aid programs, including the need-based State Grant, according to PHEAA.

A print and online version of the guide are available and copies of the 2009-2010 guide will be sent out to all guidance counselor offices in the state. To obtain a copy of the online guide, which includes links to helpful Web pages and online aid applications, visit

High school counselors can order extra copies of the guide at

Supplies of the printed version are limited.

PHEAA also recommends families with students interested in higher education visit for college planning guidance. The Web site can assist with identifying a solid career path and the education necessary to enter it, and offers one of the largest scholarship searches on the Internet.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Motorcycle classes in Pa. are free

PennDOT offers free safety classes to motorcycle license and permit holders March through October.

"We offer these classes to build a sound, safe training basis for beginning motorcyclists and to maintain safe operation among more experienced riders," said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler.

The Basic Rider Course is a 15-hour class with five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience perfect for beginning and inexperienced riders, according to PennDOT. The skills reviewed also offer experienced riders the chance to polish their skills and knowledge of safety on the road. Motorcycles and helmets are provided to students for this course if they do not already have one. Helmets must be DOT approved if brought to this course. Scooter riders can bring their scooters to the course instead of using the motorcycles provided.

The Experienced Rider Course provides skilled riders the chance to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills in a six-hour, one-day class. This class also allows riders to carry a passenger while practicing balance and steering techniques under the guidance of rider coaches on the course, PennDOT said. Riders must bring their own helmets and motorcycles or scooters to this course.

To enroll in either class, you must hold a valid class M license or current motorcycle permit from Pennsylvania. Permit holders are automatically issued a valid class M license when they successfully complete the course.

Locally, classes are held at CAT-Pickering campus in Phoenixville, at Blackman's Cycle Center in Emmaus, and at Sport Cycle Suzuki and Classic Harley-Davidson in Leesport. All those interested must sign up through Walk-ins are not allowed.