New webinar series helps VT students & families explore & pay for education

Written by
Sabina Haskell

August 27, 2020



Planning for the future can be difficult these days, with so much in question. And with the paths for college, training, careers, and jobs changing, the need for reliable information is more critical than ever.

To make it easier for students and families to navigate the road ahead, VSAC — Vermont’s nonprofit higher education agency — has launched a new online effort to bring the information to Vermonters virtually.

VSAC’s interactive webinar series (#VSACShowsYouHow) is designed to help students and families get the guidance they need to explore education opportunities and make the best financial aid choices to pay for training after high school. Each episode features information and advice to help Vermonters pursue learning while also making that education more affordable.

The online events feature VSAC experts and colleagues from high education, and offer families an opportunity to ask questions during or before the webinars and to follow up with a free 1:1 consultation. All webinars are recorded for later viewing.

Check out the webinars that have aired this summer, and see the upcoming topics:

Episode 1: How to appeal your financial aid


How to appeal your financial aid offerHas your financial situation changed this year, especially due to COVID-19? You may be able to receive more financial aid for your education. In the webinar that aired June 24, parents and students learn what a financial aid appeal is; how the appeal process works; what qualifies as special circumstances; what documentation is needed; and how to present a compelling request. 

Panelists include Marilyn Cargill, vice president of VSAC’s financial aid services, research and marketing; Miranda Roth, VSAC supervisor of grants and scholarships; and Zack Goodwin, president of Vermont Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Episode 2: How to choose education loans


How to choose an education loanNearly 7 out of 10 Vermont families need to borrow to help pay education costs. So if you’re among that group, you’re not alone. At VSAC, our goal is to help students and parents better understand the details — and their choices — so that they borrow only what they need and minimize their cost of borrowing.

In the webinar that aired July 28, parents and students get guidance as they make the best financial decisions for their family and consider how much to borrow, what type of loan to get, and which lenders to use.

Vermont financial aid experts Marilyn Cargill, vice president of VSAC’s financial aid services, research and marketing; Greg Davis, director of financial aid at Champlain College and past president of the Vermont Association of Financial Aid Administrators; and Deborah Lessor, VSAC manager of private loan origination (and the parent of 5 students who’ve attended and successfully paid for college!) walk you through what you need to consider in choosing education loans.

Episode 3: Adult learning — Reskill or upskill your career

Our next VSAC Shows You How webinar is on Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 6-7 pm. Learn about the variety of certificate, training, and apprenticeship programs available in Vermont, and resources for career exploration — including high-pay, high-demand jobs in the state. Find out about the available funding opportunities, including the Vermont Advancement Grant, Curtis Certificate of Value Training Scholarship, the Department of Labor’s CTE scholarship and other forms of gift aid.

VSAC panelists include Marilyn Cargill, vice president of financial aid services, marketing and research; Suzie Wagner, adult outreach counselor in the Educational Opportunity Center; and Miranda Roth, manager in the grants department.

Participate via Zoom at or by visiting VSAC’s Facebook page.

And watch for these upcoming topics:

  • How to choose a school virtually
  • How to apply for financial aid — Let’s fill out the FAFSA and Vermont grant applications
  • Another source of free money: How to apply for scholarships
  • How to make sense of your financial aid offers
  • Student loan repayment: managing challenges
  • How to successfully manage student loan default

Have questions or need more information? VSAC is here to help you. Serving our community is at the heart of all we do. During this ever-changing time, we remain available and committed to help you navigate all your career and education needs. Reach out to us and ask for assistance.

For information on college and career planning and decisions, go to and check out our online workshops and resources and online events. For an update of how we can help during the COVID-19 crisis, click here. You can also give us a call at 800-226-1029, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and reach us via email at