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College Admissions and Financial Aid Planning Webinars

Register with Williamsvilles NHS code: 0001####   *Contact Mr. Martens for remaining digits 

Early Planning for College Affordability

February 15, 2017
7:00-8:00 p.m. (ET)
When it comes to affording college, experts will tell you: Plan early! Get authoritative advice and insight on terminology, tools, and opportunities to help you get ahead in preparing to pay for college. Options such as 529 accounts, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Parent PLUS loans, grants, and more will be covered.


  • Mary Scott, Senior Financial Analyst, University of Notre Dame
  • Susan Sharkey, Director – High School Program, National Endowment for Financial Education

Choosing the College that's Best for You

March 22, 2017
7:00-8:00 p.m. (ET)
"I got in!" The college acceptance letters arrive, and some students get to shout this good news multiple times. Then, they're faced with a big decision—choosing just one. How can you determine the college that's best for you? This session first helps with understanding the college financial aid award letter as it pertains to year one. Then, you will be guided in learning what it means to "fit" within a college community based on academic, social, and cultural considerations—all aimed at helping you make your big decision.


  • Dr. Tobias Guzman, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Access, University of Northern Colorado
  • Calvin C. Wise, Director of Recruitment, Johns Hopkins University

First Steps in Your College Search

April 19, 2017
7:00-8:00 p.m. (ET)
Where do you begin in the college search process...and not get overwhelmed? Counselors and college admission officials are quick to offer checklists and timelines, but what are the first steps you should take? This session gets right to the essential questions, expert advice, and critical resources to get you moving ahead productively.


  • Jessica Quintana-Hess, Director of Admissions, Lycoming College
  • Brandi Smith, Assistant Dean of Admission, Emory University

Get help writing your all-important college application essay from field experts. These are highly interactive, hands-on virtual workshops with writing prompts. So you'll come away with the tips you need to get a satisfying and effective finished product in hand.


Discover Your Voice
November 9, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (ET)

Each college application essay is as unique as the student who writes it. When successfully done, you are able to create a personal inventory and map out important ideas. You will learn techniques to discover your voice and empower your writing.
Presenter: Marilyn G.S. Emerson is a Certified Educational Planner. She is also the mentoring project director for NYC's Possibility Project. Over the years, Marilyn has visited numerous colleges and universities and currently visits approximately 40 campuses each year.



Sharing Your Story through Scholarship Application Essays
December 14, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (ET)

What do scholarship providers look for in students' scholarship applications? This session explores essay questions from current scholarship applications and highlights winning essays from previous years.
Presenter: Andrea "Drea" Elzy has extensive experience in residential education, diversity education, health and wellness education, paraprofessional mentoring, and innovation. Throughout her career, she has helped students reach their highest academic and personal potential though mentorship and sharing her experiences.



Perfecting the Personal Statement
Writing about yourself can be difficult, but it's important for you to know how to tell your own story. This session features guided activities and explores writing strategies to help you shine in preparing a personal statement.
Presenter: Crystal Newby, assistant director of education and training for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Prior to joining NACAC, she spent nearly 10 years as a leader in college admission, at both public and private institutions.



Have 'em at Hello: Mastering Opening Statements
When completing a college application, applicants need to stand out from the crowd. This session will provide strategies to start off strong, as well as tips on approaches to avoid, in order to catch the attention of an application's reader. 
Presenter: Nicole Smith, an educator, advocate, change agent, dream director, warrior of peace and possibility, and transformational leader. She currently works as the senior program officer, School Programs, and the director of the summer academic enrichment program for the College Success Foundation DC.