Panelists Agree Saving for College Starts Early

Panelists Agree Saving for College Starts Early

Westfield – The College Woman’s Club of Westfield hosted a panel discussion, “Paying for College” on Thursday January 19 in the Westfield Town Hall Community Room.  Navigating the financial aid process can be stressful and confusing.  Speakers covered complex topics including setting up a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) account or a college-bound 529 plan.  All speakers agreed that saving for college should start as soon as possible.

The panel discussion included Maureen Mazzarese, Director of Counseling Services K-12 for Westfield, Phil Gross, president and CEO and Julie Gross, vice president of College Financial Consultants ( as well as Cassandra Stahl, Financial Advisor representing Northwestern Mutual as a member of the Clinton Financial Group (  Susana MacLean, of MacLean College Counseling (, also added to the panel discussion.

Panelists stressed the importance of saving early, meeting deadlines, weighing options of different college aid offers, and pursuing scholarships.  The discussion also clarified the difference between the CSS profile and the FAFSA and who uses it.

Founded in 1917, the mission of the College Woman’s Club of Westfield is to further the higher education of women and serve the general interests of our local community.   In addition to serving the community, CWC provides lifelong learning and social engagement for its members.  As a key part of the CWC mission, the CWC awards scholarships annually to outstanding young women from Westfield. The deadline for 2020 CWC Scholarship applications (found here or at under the Scholarships tab) with all required documentation is Monday, March 9, 2020.

Please complete the application and return to the Counseling Department Secretary at Westfield High School, 550 Dorian Road, Westfield.  The deadline for the application is 3 PM on March 9, 2019.  Please contact Ms. Donna Hornish, Chair, CWC Scholarship Committee by phone: (732) 381-3654, or email: if you have any questions about the scholarship application.

Evening panelists (l to r): Susana MacLean of MacLean College Counseling, Maureen Mazzarese, Director of Counseling Services K-12 of Westfield, Jill Gross and Phil Gross, College Financial Consultants  and Cassandra Stahl, Clinton Financial Group.








The panel takes a question from the audience.








L to R: CWC Vice-president and evening moderator Anne Wargo, Susana Maclean, Maureen Mazzarese, Jill Gross, Phil Gross, Cassandra Stahl and CWC President Fran Moum.