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4 workshops offer tips for college admission and savings

By Leslie King | Emory Report | June 17, 2013

Four workshops this summer help parents and their college-approaching children navigate the world of higher education.

Organized by the Emory WorkLife Resource Center as part of its back-to-school initiative, upcoming sessions include:

June 27: "Saving for College: Understanding 529 Plans"

Facilitator Nancy Farmer is president of Tuition Plan Consortium, which sponsors the private college 529 Plan of which Emory is an original member and was involved in its creation. 529 plans are tax-advantaged ways for families to plan and save for higher education. Farmer plans to share her extensive knowledge of all types of college savings plans, both state and private, according to Audrey Adelson, work-life and family programs consultant with the WorkLife Resource Center.

July 11: "The College Admissions Process"

Timothy Fields, assistant dean of admission at Emory, will facilitate this perennially popular workshop, attended by both parents and their high school age children. This session has a waiting list, but Adelson advises signing up as some spots usually open up.

Fields says the workshop will give faculty and staff insight into what admission officers look for throughout the application review process. It also illustrates what students and parents should be doing in the years leading up to applying to college to make them competitive applicants. He said the session will help faculty and staff understand how the courtesy scholarship and being part of the Emory family is factored into this process if their student applies to Emory or Oxford College.

"With a growing number of faculty and staff having students apply to Emory, we feel it’s important to help them understand how being a faculty or staff member influences the review process," he adds.

"It’s one thing to travel the world looking for the best and brightest students," Fields says, "but we first and foremost want  to ensure we take care of the students and families that are directly connected to Emory University."

July 25: "A Guide to Paying for College: Savings, Loans, Grants, Scholarships & Financial Aid"

Facilitator Erik Lips, senior assistant director in Emory's Office of Financial Aid, will help demystify the financial aid process; discuss current trends in admission and financial aid; and help families in their exploration of how to finance college for their high school-aged child.

Lips says, "My background and experience allows me the opportunity to understand what families go through from junior year in high school when the college search starts all the way through to graduation day."

Lips say he tries to add a little zest to each presentation for a topic as sensitive as money and finances. "Layer that with honest, candid, real life examples or better yet, lived experiences, and the group will hopefully walk away not with answers, but with a healthy understanding of the function of financial aid and some tools that will allow them to better frame their inquiries as they start the college search process," he adds.

Aug. 1: "Budgeting 101: My College Years"

This is a new workshop about helping young adults learn to live on a budget while going off to college. It is open to both parents and their children ages 16 to 20, Adelson says. Linda Kuryloski, the facilitator, will explore setting personal financial goals; managing expenses and debt; practical savings suggestions for now through retirement; and how to start creating a lifetime financial blueprint.

All workshops are held at noon in the Oxford Presentation Room on the third floor of the Oxford Road Building.