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Public is Invited to Free College Planning Seminars

The Alternative Press Staff

Sunday, January 12, 2014 • 6:55am

ROSELAND, NJ – The school year is just about half over, and many college-bound students are in the midst of applying to college. While the college application process can be daunting and often intimidating to both students and their families—it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are services like the College Benefits Research Group (CBRG) that can help people through the entire process. To explain what services they offer, CBRG will be holding informational seminars on Thursday, February 6, at the Wayne Elks Lodge, and on Wednesday, February 12, at the Montville Township Public Library. Livingston residents are invited to attend these meetings.

CBRG is a college planning organization that was co-founded by Steven Sirot, David N. Slater and partner, Educational Counselor, Janet Loren. The company serves college-bound students and families by demystifying the process of searching for a proper college “fit,” and by providing outstanding support during the application and aid processes.

“We are different from other college planning services in that we offer “harmonization” of financial, educational and social guidance for the entire family,” said CBRG Co-Founder Steven Sirot.

The company helps clients avoid making common mistakes when paying for college. Sirot and Slater use their combined years of experience to help families get money from colleges and universities even if a student doesn’t qualify for “need-based” financial aid. They also tell clients what to do and not to do before applying to college to ensure they are offered as much money as possible. In addition, aside from filing college funding forms for clients, the team coaches them on the appeal process if they are under-awarded by a college.

The group also helps with selecting the correct college, performing career searches, helping with preparation for SAT/ACT, maximizing the financial aid potential, and even shows clients how to cash flow their financial responsibilities.

“We meet jointly with students and parents to develop a college game plan that works for everyone,” said Sirot. “Too often, college students attend a school because their friends are there, or it is the so-called ‘hot school’ that is on everyone’s radar, without any consideration of whether the school is right for them or the long-term effect it will have on family finances. We work hard with the entire family to let students know that going to college is a responsible decision that affects the whole family, and there are no ‘free rides.’ The student will be responsible for their academic success in college, which includes graduating in four years, and for paying back of some loans that may need to be taken out in their name.”

Recently, CBRG spoke with WCTC radio, WGLS radio, and The Star-Ledger about college applications and how to choose the right school financially, academically and socially for the student and their families. Sirot spoke with WCTC’s “Jersey Central” radio show on all aspects of college planning, which can be heard here. Both Sirot and Loren discussed the importance of the financial, as well as the academic and social “fit” of a school for the student, and the family with WGLS’s “A Community Affair,” radio show, which can he heard here. In addition, Slater was quoted in two separate The Star-Ledger columns, which can be read here and here.

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