Wellington students and parents looking to get a leg up on college preparations are invited to attend a free workshop Tuesday, Feb. 5. They can learn about college planning and financial aid issues from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Wellington Community Center.
Presented by the Central Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Wellington, the workshop will answer college questions for both students who are a few years from graduation and those preparing to attend college in the near future.
“More than ever, parents and students are looking for information about how to get a leg up on getting into college,” said College Planning Masters founder David Eisenson, whose company will be leading the workshop.
College Planning Masters provides counseling for parents and students on subjects ranging from standing out among other applicants to paying for college. The company has joined with the chamber and other local organizations to offer these free workshops.
“When you search the Internet for college planning, you get more than 203 million search results,” Eisenson said. “There’s a lot of information out there, and when people come to us, they usually have a deer-in-the-headlights look.”
But Eisenson and other representatives can answer even the most basic questions. They will also have plenty of tips for students and parents next week.
“Getting into college and getting financial aid is an intense competition,” he explained. “For financial aid, it really comes down to how well-thought-out your plans are, how proactive you are and how you represent yourselves on paper.”
He noted that many families with larger incomes often don’t believe they can qualify for financial aid.
“Families think they don’t qualify, but they do,” he said. “Just because you may have a six-figure income doesn’t mean you don’t qualify. Some families qualify for more than they’d ever imagine.”
But navigating paperwork and other issues can be confusing.
“People are usually ill-equipped to handle the forms and don’t know the strategies they can use to grab a share of the $200 billion in financial aid given away each year,” Eisenson said. “It’s about knowing where to look and how to go after it.”
Also included in the workshop will be instruction about how to shine in the application process.
“People come in with this notion that if they have good grades and good SAT scores, there’s no telling where their kid will go,” Eisenson said. “But admissions officers are looking for a lot more. We give tips and strategies that will have admissions taking a longer look at students.”
Though the workshop is geared toward high school students, Eisenson said, it’s open to anyone looking for information about higher education possibilities.
“I’ve had young couples come in with babies in carriages,” he said. “The information is there for people who want to get ahead of the competition.”
He noted that the workshops typically draw more than 100 people. “I encourage everyone to come on out and have their question ready,” he said. “If they have personal questions related to their specific circumstances, we’re always happy to do a follow-up at my office.”
To RSVP, e-mail email@example.com or call (800) 776-6445, ext. 208.
If you miss the Wellington session on Feb. 4, a similar program is planned at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center on Monday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
ABOVE: College Planning Masters founder David Eisenson.