Free financial literacy workshop offered to Holyoke students, families to prepare for college –

HOLYOKE — Financial literacy such as getting skilled at managing money and seeking and dealing with student loans will be the topic of a free workshop at Holyoke High School at 500 Beech St. on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The workshop titled “Making Cents: You Can Afford College” is aimed at helping students and their families prepare for college, said state Rep. Aaron M. Vega, D-Holyoke, cosponsor of the event. The workshop will be in the cafeteria.

“As a strong supporter of higher education I think it’s important for families and individuals to understand the investment, cost and impact of going to college today. This event is to inform families so people know and can plan for their children,” Vega said in a text message last week.

The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) announced the financial literacy workshop as part of its new effort to inform students and families in the state’s “Gateway Cities” about resources available for college, a press release said.

Gateway Cities, of which Holyoke is one, is the term for Massachusetts urban centers that once anchored a regional economy but are struggling with social and economic challenges while retaining clear assets to build on. Other Gateway Cities are Worcester, Lowell and New Bedford.

” ‘Making Cents’ will tap into the expertise of MSCPA members to bring advice and guidance on a variety of financial topics to the public statewide,” the MSCPA website said.

MSCPA is the professional association of certified public accountants in Massachusetts, representing over 11,000 members, the press release said.

“The first series will focus on college savings plans, financial aid and other strategies for paying for college. ‘Making Cents: You Can Afford College’ will educate young people and their families on the resources available to help them afford the rising costs of higher education,” the website said.

“Attendees will also learn ways to plan for their financial futures and receive one-on-one consultations with CPAs (certified public accountants) about their specific, individual needs,” the website said.

Bank and college representatives are scheduled to attend the workshop to offer advice, the press release said.

“Our goal is to help students and their families better understand the cost of college and the many ways to bear the enormous burden of gaining a secondary education,” Amy Pitter, president and CEO of MSCPA, said in the press release.

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