Career and College Counseling

Susan Oliver, the Training Fund’s Career and College Counselor, is available for appointments in person or over the phone.  She has a flexible schedule and will meet at a place and time convenient to you.  Susan has many years of experience in working with adults who are currently attending, or thinking about returning to school.

Please contact her at (860) 251-6065, (860) 278-6648 or

Academic Counseling Tips – Ask questions, follow instructions!

  • Map out potential activities, classes and study time for your first year.
  • Figure out how flexible a campus program is, e.g., absence and late policy with applicable penalties that affect the total cost of completing the program.
  • Ask the Academic Advisor – How easy is it to change your major without penalty?
  • Compare Financial Aid offers:

You will have several decisions to make once you receive a financial aid award letter/email. Assess your financial aid packages by comparing offers and reading the fine print.

A Student Loan De-Briefer You Can Understand

What will It Cost You?
Sure, paying back a few thousand bucks over 10 years does not sound so bad — that is until you receive your first payment booklet with monthly payments that you cannot afford.

Cost of Attendance – Add up tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and personal expenses, and there you have it.

Study Your Loan Lingo Vocabulary – Example below

‘We will not test you, but it is good to be familiar with the following terms before you attempt the loan process.”

Know Your Loan Types Need-Based

Private Loans: Organizations such as Sallie Mae, Nellie Mae, and P.L.A.T.O. offer private loans. Rates, repayment plans, and borrowing limits vary.

Borrow only what you need

Student loans are a common part of financial aid packages.  To figure out how much money you may need to borrow, look at a college’s cost, your cost of living, your family’s contribution and your financial aid award. You do not have to accept the entire amount of a loan you are offered.

After you have a plan for your finances nailed down, revisit it every few months to make sure it still makes sense for your circumstances. Unsubsidized loans should be the first to pay off; they accrue interest while you are in school, so the cost of borrowing is higher than it is for subsidized loans.

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