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Webinar series helps VT students & families explore & pay for education

Written by
Dilys Pierson

August 24, 2021



With the paths for college, training, careers, and jobs changing, the need for reliable, up-to-date information is more critical than ever.

VSAC’s interactive webinar series, VSAC Shows You How, 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 and to help make that education more affordable.

The online events feature VSAC experts and colleagues from higher education. They also 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 these webinar highlights and see the full list of topics that have aired this past year, plus upcoming topics:

How to choose an education loan

Nearly 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 from June 2021, 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.

How to apply for a Vermont state grant & scholarships

VSAC provides about $25 million in grants and scholarships to Vermont students. And for the 2021–2022 school year, eligible students have received grants from $1,000 to $12,800. Because grants are “gift aid,” they’re free money—the funds don’t have to be paid back. But you have to apply to be considered. During this presentation from November 2020, Marcia Corey, manager of VSAC’s grant operations, walks you through how to complete the Vermont state grant application, question by question, followed by the steps needed to apply for the more than 120 Vermont-based scholarships (more free money!) that are offered to students who want to continue their education or training after high school.

Adult learning — Reskill or upskill your career 

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 in our webinar from September 2020. 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. And find more links, resources, and support for adults interested in returning to school or short-term training.

Coming up: Saving for college or training with 529 Plans 

Our next VSAC Shows You How webinar on September 28 will provide information on 529 programs, including the VT529, as part of National Saving for College Month in September. Learn how 529 plans work, what you can use the funds for, the benefits of saving for future education and career training with 529, and tax advantages for Vermont taxpayers—including a Vermont income tax credit. VSAC panelists include Marilyn Cargill, vice president of financial aid services, marketing and research and Richard Westman, VSAC’s manager of the VT529 program. 

To register to participate via Zoom, click here. You can also check our online calendar or visit VSAC’s Facebook page. The webinar will be recorded for later viewing.

Other VSAC Shows You How webinars: 

View our complete playlist of videos on planning & paying for college or training.

Have questions or need more information? VSAC is here to help you. For help with financial aid, go to, and check out our online workshops and events. You can also give us a call at 800-642-3177, 8:00 am–4:30 pm, Monday through Friday and reach us via email at