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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Help Raise Healthcare Consumer Awareness in February

  2. Feds Offer Billions in Financial Aid Annually for Higher Education

  3. FASFA Friday Webinars Walk Applicants Through Filing Process

  4. Census Releases National Computer & Internet Access Data

Spring Break Travel Safety
Tips Abound Online

Does this extended winter weather have you dreaming of a tropical adventure? Fear not! Spring is just weeks away. If your patrons are already planning a trip outside of the state or country for spring vacation, share these thorough Spring Break Health and Safety Tips from the CDC and tips for Smart Travelers from the U.S. Department of State. For a look at warmer weather from your desk, see TripAdvisor’s Top 60 Best Beach Vacations - Anywhere and use the website’s Travel Inspiration tool to find more spring getaways.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Help Raise Healthcare Consumer Awareness in February

Wise Healthcare Consumer MonthFebruary is Wise Healthcare Consumer Month, sponsored by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. Many Americans consider themselves savvy consumers, always on the hunt for the latest deals or bargains. Most people don’t realize they need to be wise consumers when it comes to healthcare. Escalating health costs are a concern to many.   According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average cost of a doctor visit is $199 and a visit to the ER is $922.

The American Institute for Preventative Medicine has online resources to help you and your patrons become better consumers, communicate with care providers, and make educated decisions about healthcare. Download their free toolkit here: Wise Health Care Consumerism Toolkit.

The Federal Trade Commission provides Consumer Health and Fitness tips for finding your way through the many producers of health products and information, including false claims and scams.

Visit to compare plans and services and to sign up for healthcare if you’re currently uninsured.   Here’s to your health!

Feds Offer Billions in Financial Aid Annually for Higher Education

National Girls and Women in Sports DayThe federal government offers more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds to students each year. To see if you qualify for aid, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called the FAFSA.

Many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Check the application deadlines for your state. Many state deadlines occur in early 2014. Also check the deadlines for your college. Get more information here about financial aid for college or career school.

This is brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration via the blog.

FASFA Friday Webinars Walk Applicants Through Filing Process

FASFA Friday WebinarThe Indiana Commission for Higher Education announced a FAFSA Friday Webinar that takes place today, Friday, Feb. 21, at noon and at 6 p.m. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for most federal, state, and institutional aid, the FAFSA must be filed by March 10 with any corrections due by May 15. Financial aid experts Bill Wozniak (ISM) and Heidi Carl (Wabash College) will lead this informational, online presentation that will walk students and parents through the FAFSA form and includes a live Ask the Expert component. Financial aid experts will walk virtual attendees through the whole process and even take questions submitted online.

Join them live or view the archived versions from last week or this week. How? Log on at

Census Releases National Computer & Internet Access Data

Computer & Internet Access DataHow many times have you told a friend, a parent, a student, that you would email them from home? 30 years ago, this would not have been the case!

Earlier in February, the Census Bureau released its latest data on Computer and Internet Access in the United States, including a new infographic, Computer and Internet Trends in America, which covers computer usage from 1984 to 2012.

In 1984, 8.2% of all households had a computer, compared to 78.9% of households in 2012. That’s a 900% leap in just 28 years!

In 1984, the most popular computer, the Commodore 64, held a mere 64 KB of memory… while today’s iPhone has about 16,000 times the RAM.

In 2003, an estimated 45% of households had no internet access, but by 2012, this decreased to only 25%. In 2003, about 10% of households without internet access did not have an adequate computer. By 2012, this decreased to about 3%.

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