Through presentations and seminars, I regularly share insights and tips from my 20 years’ experience in college planning and admissions counseling. Upcoming events are listed below.

If your company, community group, library or school would like to schedule an event, please call 412-521-GRAD (4723) or visit our Corporate Services page for more information.

Understanding the College Application Process

This seminar will help families uncover the mystery of the college admission process and separate fact from fiction. We'll discuss how grades, test scores, activities, and other factors play a role in how colleges make admission decisions. Participants will understand how to be the best applicant possible and discover scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Learn what your HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR should be doing now to prepare. Walk-ins welcome!

Cooper-Siegel Community Library
403 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

RSVP: (412) 828-9520 ext. 15

6:30pm to 8:00pm

For more information, please call 412-521-GRAD or email

All interested students and parents welcome.

College Admissions Boot Camp

July 2-5, 2018
12:15pm - 1:45pm 
Week #2

Chautauqua Institute 
Special Studies Course #127

This interactive week-long series will guide high school students and parents through the complexities of the college admissions process.  Discover how colleges make admission decisions, how to make an appropriate college list, how to reserach colleges, the importance of standardized testing, how to write a powerful essay, financial aid information and scholarships.  

This course will help simplify college admissions and maximize your student's chance of acceptance to the schools of their choice. 

To register, complete a class registration form available online.




Saving, Planning, and Applying to College

We hope you can join us to learn more about what you can do to maximize your potential (and minimize stress) through the college admissions process!

Fewer than half of parents are saving for college, and those who do have college funds are saving less than they did in past years.

If you have family & friends that have teenage children please invite them as our guest.

Seth Dresbold: Principal and Senior Advisor of Signature Financial Planning will present the benefits of planning ahead for college and explain the potential tax benefits of the most popular savings vehicles.

Eva Gelman: Educational Consultant and owner of CollegeQuest will present ways to master the college admission process.
Since 1991, Ms. Gelman has guided thousands of students through college planning and admissions to help them find the right fit, academically and personally.

Please RSVP to (412) 390-2800 or 
Space is limited.

Signature Financial Planning
1301 Grandview Ave, Ste 300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15211

Light refreshments will be served.

Demystifying College Admissions

Free Seminar 

Eva Gelman will answer your tough college admission questions and help you demystify the complexities of the process.  


  • Dispel the top college admission myths.
  • Understand the role of standardized testing and the NEW SAT.
  • Learn how you can best position yourself to be the best applicant possible.
  • Discover Scholarship and Financial Aid opportunities.

Cooper-Siegel Community Library
403 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

RSVP:  (412) 828-9520 ext. 21

7:00pm to 8:30pm

For more information, please call 412-521-GRAD or email  

All interested students and parents welcome.

2016 College Application Boot Camp

This intensive five-session series for the CLASS OF 2017 includes:
  • Develop Application Strategy & Timeline - Organize college applications, teacher recommendations, and essays to maximize your chance of acceptance.
  • Complete the online Common Application - Applications will be professionally reviewed & critiqued.
  • Get Personal Insight and Advice to Create Outstanding Essays - Review the top ten college essay mistakes.
  • Construct a Meaningful Activities Resume - Develop a formatted resume that highlights your involvements and experiences.
  • Parent Q & A Session - Receive expert tips & strategies (last hour of final class).
Students will be expected to bring laptops and complete assignments between sessions.  
Course presenter Eva Gelman is a former Associate Director of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as former Director of College Guidance at Sewickley Academy. 
August 1-5

SESSION 1:  12:30pm - 3:00pm

SESSION 2:  6:30pm - 9:00pm

To register, please email or call Eva at 412-521-GRAD (4723).

How to APPLY to College

College Planning Seminar

6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
TechShop Pittsburgh

Navigating today’s college process requires careful planning and preparation. Learn how colleges make admissions decisions and how to successfully prepare for the college application process. 

This event is free and open to both members and non-members of TechShop.


TechShop Pittsburgh 
Bakery Square
192 Bakery Square Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 345-7182

Essay and Common Application Workshop

Free Workshop for High School Seniors.

Learn strategies to best present yourself through the Common Applications.  Get personal insight and advice to create powerful essays. Completed applications and essays will be professionally reviewed and critiqued.

Cooper-Siegel Community Library

403 Fox Chapel Road 
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

11:00am to 12:30pm

To register, or for more information, please call 412-828-9520, ext. 215 or email  

This workshop is for high school seniors.

Winning the College Admission Game: Strategies for Success (Parenting Expo 2014)

2.5 Million. That's how many applicants are competing for colleges this year. Is there a magic formula for getting in? How do parents help their children make their applications stand out? What factors affect admission decisions?

Parenting Expo speaker Eva Gelman, founder of College Quest, says that a student’s grades in college-preparatory classes remain the most significant factor in college admission decisions.

Additional factors that influence admission decisions include:

  • Strength of course curriculum
  • Class rank/GPA
  • Demonstrated interest
  • Standardized test scores
  • Personal statements and essays
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Extracurricular activities

With more than 20 years of college admissions experience, Eva has worked with hundreds of families in the college planning and selection process. She provides an inside view of how applications are processed and reviewed, what admissions are really looking for, and what catches their attention. Prior to her independent work, Eva worked as Associate Director of Admission and Financial Aid for Carnegie Mellon University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communication Studies.

To learn more parenting tips from Eva and other leading parenting experts, visit Parenting Expo Pittsburgh March 8 -9 at the Monroeville Convention Center. Parenting Expo is the one event that is all about parenting. A two-day family-friendly event, parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators will have an opportunity to receive up-to-date information on what’s important to them right now – from prenatal care to raising teens. In addition, attendees will walk away with meaningful coupons, giveaways, goody bags full of products from exhibitors, and opportunities to win prizes throughout the expo. In addition to Pittsburgh, Parenting Expo is slated for 4 additional cities in 2014:

Cleveland: April 26 – 27, 2014 International Exposition (IX) Center
Columbus: August 16 – 17, 2014 The Greater Columbus Convention Center
Cincinnati: September 20 – 21, 2014 The Duke Energy Convention Center
Indianapolis: October 25 – 26, 2014 Indiana Convention Center


College Essay & Application Boot-Camp

Week #1: October 10, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Week #2: October 17, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Work College Planning Expert Eva Gelman.

  • Develop Application Strategy to Increase your College Acceptance Possibilities
  • Complete the Common Application
    Applications will be professionally reviewed & critiqued.
  • Get Personal Insight and Advice to Create Outstanding Essays
  • Construct a Meaningful Activities Resume
    Develop a formatted resume that highlights your involvements and experiences.
  • Parent Q & A Session 
    Receive expert tips & strategies.

To register, please call 412-828-9520 ext. 215 or email

Students will be expected to bring laptops and complete assignments between sessions. If you have any questions, please call Eva at 412-521-GRAD (4723).


Below are some events and dates that can help students and their families to better plan and prepare for college. Once you begin making a list of desirable schools, you should also ask about special events, visiting periods, presentations and deadlines involving those schools. If you’re looking for more general information, I’ve provided an extensive list of recommended links and downloads on my Planning Resources page.

NACAC Pittsburgh National College Fair

Free and open to the public, NACAC National College Fairs allow students to interact with admission representatives from a wide range of postsecondary institutions.

David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Thursday, February 8: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 9: 9:00am – 12:00pm


“Thanks for remaining a voice of calm in what feels like a storm to us. We found your feedback to be very helpful in the application process. It is clear to me that he would have been at a disadvantage without your help.”
S.S.A., Parent