Saving for College: What it Costs and How You Can Be Ready (Lunch and Learn)

Thursday, Feb. 27


NIU alumnus and financial guru Mario Cinardi, '98, will offer an "NIU College Planning Day" presentation, sponsored by the Heartland Institute of Financial Education. As part of the NIU Alumni Association's Lunch and Learn series, the presentation will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 at The Vault Room.

Determining the most cost-effective, tax-efficient way to fund a college education is not always easy. Many parents would prefer not to think about it at all, hoping that things will somehow work out. Due to the “cross-your-fingers” approach, many families face limited choices for college. In order for families to best prepare for this future event, it is important to understand college pricing, the admissions process, financial-aid and how to best navigate the entire complex college-funding system. The Heartland Institute employs a variety of strategies to help position families and students to receive optimal placement and funding.

Cinardi has been a financial professional since 1998 and holds several leadership positions and

Mario Cinardi, '98, has over 20 years of financial experience.

licenses in the financial industry.  This includes his role as a Certified Financial Educator ® and Registry Instructor with the Heartland Institute of Financial Education, a national non-profit organization that provides financial education for companies and their employees and college planning for students. The programs are offered through alliances with some of the nation’s top educational institutions.

Cinardi is the founder and president of his own firm and has over 20 years experience in training new financial professionals in the classroom and in the field. He specializes in both the promotion of financial literacy through the institute and working with personal clients in planning their financial future. His mission is to empower individuals, families and organizations to take control of their finances by understanding how money works. 

The Lunch and Learn presentation is $10 and will include boxed lunches with a choice of sandwiches, chips and cookies. Bottled water will be provided. 

Lunch options:

  • RAVINI – Roasted turkey with Brie cheese, tomatoes, and mixed greens on multi-grain bread.
  • CLASSICO - Genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone, tomatoes and mild giardiniera on Italian filone, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Mozza E Pom – Fresh Mozzarella with tomatoes, basil leaves and cracked black pepper on filone, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.