2024 College Fair Seminars

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Saturday, March 16th

How to Tackle the College or Gap Year Application Process? Ask an Admissions Panel!

Do you have questions about the application process, ways to support your high schooler as they embark on applications, or even the importance of extracurriculars now and after high school? This panel of local admissions officers will answer your questions and more, offering insightful guidance for parents and students alike.



Paul Hovey, Fairfield University

Justine Itterly, Lafayette College

Timothy O’Sullivan, Quinnipiac University

Scarlett Bittner, University of Massachusetts Amherst

College Funding 101

In this seminar, families will gain guidance to the planning process around early conversations on affordability, admissions, and social “fit”, as well as insight into how financial aid formulas work (changes coming in 2024!) and standardized testing and merit, and an understanding of the importance the value students bring to a campus.

Todd Weaver, President of Strategies For College, Inc., is an Independent Educational Counselor who specializes in integrating the college selection process within cost management parameters for the families with whom he works. Todd received his B.A. in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 1990 and his M.B.A. from Northeastern University in 1997, where he worked in the Financial Aid department.

Strategies for College, Inc. has assisted more than 7,000 families in seeking and finding admission to selective and highly selective colleges and universities that match their student’s level of intellectual curiosity, interests and abilities. His firm is proud that more than 95% of the students with whom they work return to the same college for sophomore year versus the national average of 66%.  Strategies For College, Inc. is a Certified Financial Planner Board Registered provider of professional continuing education, and for more than 20 years has taught Certified Public Accountants 4 and 8‐hour CPE courses on college planning at the Boston Tax Institute.

The Digital SAT, the ACT, and YOU: A Guide to Navigating College Admissions Testing

From the new, digital SAT to the spread of test optional policies, the landscape of college admissions testing has never been more confusing. This workshop will provide clear and comprehensive guidance to help families develop an informed and strategic plan for their student’s admissions testing. Attendees will learn about the upcoming changes to the SAT and the differences between the SAT and the ACT, how to choose the right test for their student, the keys to building a testing timeline, and the essential components of effective preparation. By participating in this workshop, families will gain the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate the complex world of college admissions testing.


Travis Minor founded Open Door Education in 2011 with the goal of building the most impactful tutoring organization in Massachusetts. Travis, who earned his B.S. in Secondary Education at the University of Vermont and his M.Ed. at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, began his teaching career in West Philadelphia, where he became acutely aware of the profound impact of enthusiastic, rigorous tutoring and test preparation. Travis understands the pressures and challenges facing students attending competitive high schools, and he also knows the life-long benefits of learning to rise to overcome these obstacles through patience, grit, and a willingness to ask for help (something he is still working on). When he’s not at Open Door, Travis serves as the chair of The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle, the Vice President of Ethics for the National Test Prep Association, and as the Education Entrepreneurship Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Supporting Students with Essay Writing

For many students and families, the words “Common App Essay” elicit feelings of pressure and overwhelming stress. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the source of stress is often based on beliefs that aren’t accurate. In this session, we will discuss and debunk the myths that surround the college essay and talk about how to support your student throughout their essay writing process.


With over twenty years of experience as a brand strategist and marketing researcher, Rebecca St. Mary has helped higher ed institutions and brands across a wide range of categories understand their audiences, their brand’s strengths, and their fit to develop a unique and authentic positioning. Over the past several years, she has enjoyed leveraging her expertise to help students explore and discover key insights about themselves and highlight them in their applications. She is a College Consultant at JBG Educational Group in Medfield, which provides tutoring, educational consulting, executive functioning support, life coaching, and counseling services to both students and adults.

Photo of Jamie Gossels

College Planning for High School 9th and 10th graders: It’s too early … isn’t it?

The goal of this session is to help parents of 9th and 10th grade students understand the college application process, expectations, and timing so students can make smart decisions now that will keep options open later. We’ll address how colleges evaluate applicants and review the college admissions timeline.  We’ll also discuss academic planning during high school, extracurricular and summer activities, how to think about finding the right college fit, standardized testing, and touch on financial aid.  The goal is not to add stress, but to be prepared!


Jamie Gossels has practiced as an independent college consultant in Sudbury since 2013. She earned a BS from Yale, a Ph.D. in biology from MIT, and a certificate with distinction in College Counseling through UCLA Extension School. Jamie focuses on each student individually to help them identify, build on, and communicate their strengths. She applies the scientific method to college consulting, using analytical and organizational skills, logical and creative problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and application of data as appropriate, to help students successfully navigate all aspects of the college application process. Jamie is a member of Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

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