Western PA College Success Roundtable

A consortium of secondary and post-secondary schools, community and government organizations, focused on networking, collaborating, inspiring and creating opportunities for students to achieve college success.

WPACSR Executive Council Members 2022-2023

President – Amy Sawdey, PHEAA
Past-President – Wendy Dunlap – PHEAA
Speakers/Training Coordinator – Jessika Coltz, North Catholic High School
Treasurer – Melony Ohalek, Sallie Mae
Conference (CSF) Coordinator – Stephanie Hendershot, Robert Morris University
Ad Hoc Executive Council Member – Ian Harkness, Malvern Preparatory School
Constitution and By-Laws – Michael White, Slippery Rock University

Meeting Schedule

  • 1/31/23, College Success Forum, Robert Morris University, REGISTER HERE, CSF Agenda
  • 3/2/23, Allegheny Intermediate Unit
  • 5/9/23, Virtual Meeting

*Meetings are held at various locations in Western PA, usually in and around the Pittsburgh area.  Recently, however, the meetings have been virtual.

How to Join Us

If you would like to be added to the email distribution list (which includes invitations to meetings, agendas, conversations and general information regarding college access and success) please contact Amy Sawdey, WPACSR President, at amy.sawdey@pheaa.org.

Student Outreach

PASFAA and the Western PA College Success Roundtable have teamed up to provide resources to all Pennsylvania students and parents in a one-stop-shop. Both organizations work toward helping students achieve their educational dreams through access and funding sources.

FAFSA Completion Events

Please visit www.pheaa.org/college-planning/fafsa/help-events.shtml for a listing of public FAFSA Completion Sessions.

Employment Resources

PA Careerlink www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us
Workforce Investment Board www.paworkforce.state.pa.us
Goodwill Industries www.goodwill.org

*If you are an alum of a school, keep in touch with their Career Services Office for assistance with employment, resume writing, etc.

College Access/Planning Resources

Pennsylvania Association for College Admissions Counselors (PACAC) www.pacac.org
The College Board www.collegeboard.org
Princeton Review www.princetonreview.com
Education Planner www.educationplanner.org
Net Price Calculator www.collegecost.ed.gov/netpricecenter.aspx

The Application Process

PACAC www.pacac.org
The Common Application www.commonapp.org
The College Board www.collegeboard.org

College Visits

Education Planner www.educationplanner.org
Big Future (College Board) www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org
KnowHow2Go www.knowhowtogo.org
NCAA www.ncaa.org

Financial Aid Resources

Scholarship Tips
Pittsburgh Foundation Scholarship Postcard page 1
Pittsburgh Foundation Scholarship Postcard page 2
Interest-free loans (Allegheny County residents) www.hflapgh.org/
Federal Student Aid www.federalstudentaid.gov
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) www.fafsa.gov
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) www.pheaa.org
Stafford Loans/PLUS Loans/Entrance-Exit Interviews www.studentloans.gov
Military Benefits www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
ROTC www.goarmy.com/rotc.htmlwww.afrotc.com
Outside Scholarships www.fastweb.com; www.finaid.org; www.collegeboard.org

*Google “unusual scholarships”, speak to your guidance counselor regarding local scholarships, and talk to your college and major department.

Study Abroad www.zinch.com/scholarships/

Financial Literacy Information

The Missing Semester www.themissingsemester.com
Junior Achievement www.juniorachievement.org
YouCanDealWithIt www.youcandealwithit.com
MySmartBorrowing www.mysmartborrowing.com

Voting Resources

Elections Infographic
18th Birthday Card
Civic Engagement Presentation
Municipal Elections Infographic

Support Services

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) www.dli.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/vocational_rehabilitation/10356
The Pittsburgh Promise www.pittsburghpromise.org
Disability Services on Campus (ADA) www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/hiv___aids/14241/ada/557959
Transition (Intermediate Units) www.paiu.org

Parent Information

FSA Resources for Parents www.studentaid.ed.gov/resources/parents
College Prep Checklist www.studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/college-prep-checklist.pdf
PLUS Loans www.studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/plus
Outside Scholarships www.fastweb.comwww.finaid.org; www.collegeboard.org

*Google “unusual scholarships”, speak to your guidance counselor regarding local scholarships, and talk to your college and major department.

Additional Funding Options

*Contact your local lending agency or the school for alternative/private education loans.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Graduation and Beyond

Exit Interview Information www.studentloans.gov
Loan Consolidation www.studentloans.gov
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) www.nslds.ed.gov
Public Service Loan Forgiveness www.myfedloan.org
Loan Repayment Information www.studentloans.gov
Federal Servicers www.myfedloan.orgwww.mygreatlakes.orgwww.nelnet.comwww.navient.com

*If you are an alum of a school, keep in touch with their Career Services Office for assistance with employment, resume writing, etc.

Other Related Sites

PA Treasury www.patreasury.gov
IRS www.irs.gov
Ed Tax Credit www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center
Tax Transcript Service www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
Selective Service www.sss.gov
Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov
US Citizen and Immigration Services www.uscis.gov
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) www.consumerfinance.gov
FSA Ombudsman www.studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/disputes/prepare/contact-ombudsman
US Senate www.senate.gov
US House of Representatives www.house.gov
PA House of Representatives www.house.state.pa.us
PA Senate www.pasen.gov
Find Your Legislator in PA www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/index.cfm
NCAA www.ncaa.com
Americorps www.americorps.gov
Military Benefits www.benefits.va.gov/gibill