Financial Aid 101

James Oshiro-3By James Oshiro
Director of Financial Aid, George Fox University

While many students start thinking about the college/university they are interested in attending at the end of their junior year and start of their senior year of high school, very few are thinking about how they will afford college and the college financial aid process.

When does the college financial aid process start? It really should start many years before a student’s senior year of high school. Saving for college early is probably the best step a family or student can take to be able to afford the school of their choice. College savings accounts (such as 529 accounts) are a great way to invest for one’s future education. (more…)

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Christmas on Campus

Alexis (right) and friends celebrate the holidays together.
Alexis (right) and friends celebrate the holidays together.
By Alexis Cavanaugh (sophomore psychology major)

When school starts in August, it always seems that it will take forever to get to this point, but it feels like it comes faster and faster every year. As the month of December rolls around, so does the end of the fall semester. During this time of year, students are turning in their last assignments, staying up late studying, working and gearing up for finals week.

In the midst of all this, it can be hard to remember what the Christmas season is truly all about: celebrating Jesus and his birth. It can be hard to be in the best of moods when you know there is a big project due the next day and you have limited time to get it done. However, that feeling never seems to last long on campus.
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Student Success Story: Brooke Nolte

IMG_4166-2After graduating in December, Nolte will join the core advocacy team at Micah Challenge USA

As Brooke Nolte, a senior sociology major puts it, “It’s one thing to sit in class and learn about the injustices in the world; it’s another to actively engage in addressing those issues.”

As a grassroots advocacy intern with Micah Challenge USA, an organization that pursues justice on behalf of the world’s poor, Brooke reaches out to colleges, churches and individuals to encourage them to join the fight against global poverty. Micah Challenge USA organizes campaigns and events that educate, bring awareness and foster action for the cause. It’s a pursuit Brooke will continue upon graduating from George Fox in December, as she’s been offered a paid position on the organization’s core advocacy team.

Recently we sat down with Brooke to ask about her passion for the world’s poor and to reflect on her George Fox experience.
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‘You have no idea!’

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.35.10 PMBy Heather Kurtz (Class of 2015)

This past month I had the awesome opportunity to represent George Fox University at two college fairs for high school students and their parents. With a great table layout and a head full of relevant facts, I was ready to use my education in marketing for our school’s benefit. After answering a plethora of questions and sharing my own “Be Known” story with others, I realized something so exciting: these high school students have no idea how George Fox University will impact them.

Putting myself in their shoes, four years ago when I was a high school senior, I remember being overwhelmed with making the most important choice of where my new home would be for the next few years. (more…)

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My Experience: Aaron Belz Comes to Campus

Devon HalvorsonBy Devon Halvorson

This week while skimming through the Daily Bruin announcements I saw that Aaron Belz would be coming to George Fox to read from his newly published book, Glitter Bomb, and give a lecture on laughter. Aaron Belz is a social commentator and poet. I have read some of his poetry before and was excited to check out the event.

Listening to his poems and lecture turned out to be even better than I had expected. From the poems of his I have read, he seemed to be very witty and clever, but listening to him read his book in person made each poem 10 times better. Aaron was so funny and real with the audience. Many of his poems are straightforward and simple, but he was really able to capture the audience and had us all smiling and laughing.

One thing I love about Fox is that there is ALWAYS some kind of event going on. Almost every weekend there are activities that Fox’s student government (ASC) plans, and even on the weekdays there are a handful of speakers or performances to attend.

Being at college is a unique time that offers a lot of opportunity you may not otherwise have. We are given the chance to experience speakers like Aaron Belz, whose poetry had been published in journals all over the U.S. – definitely not something you get to do every day. I think it is really fun to take advantage of these chances while they are at our fingertips.

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My Experience: Bruin Basketball

15978387102_a8817ccaf1_hBy Sammy Naluai (Class of 2016)

“I believe that we can play. I believe that we can score. I believe that we can win.” As we chant in the women’s locker room the excitement builds each time we say these words in unison. We squeeze each other’s hands tight in our pregame prayer and set our minds on our collective purpose that is greater than ourselves: to sell out for each other, this community, and for Christ. The jitters build until we slap the doorframe and rush into the gym as a unit. Pre-game routines are followed to a T, as to prevent any jinx, and then the buzzer sounds to end warm-ups. Our rituals, secret handshakes and specific order to stand in line during the National Anthem are all necessary components to preparing ourselves for the battle ahead.

George Fox women’s basketball opened up our season by hosting the Tip-Off Classic followed by a quick trip to the Midwest to take on some of the D-III powerhouses in Milwaukee. There were high hopes as well as high pressure for these two weekends that would play a large role in postseason regional and national rankings. (more…)

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Freshman Year All Over Again

10687366_10203661829999702_5112495758339695251_o (1)By Alexis Cavanaugh (Class of 2017)

No, I did not fail freshman year, nor am I finishing up some credits from freshman year. However, I am living in a freshman hall again. It all started last year when my roommate, Libby, applied for a resident assistant (RA) position. She had been hoping all year to get this job and we talked about rooming together again if she did. Well, at the end of February, she found out she got the position! She officially asked me to be her RAR (RA’s roommate) too! So from then on we made plans and got so excited for this year. Summer went by really quickly and we talked about how excited we were to journey with our group of girls this year. August rolled around and it was time to move back again. (more…)

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My Experience: C.S. Lewis Scholar Speaks on Campus

Hannah SmithBy Hannah Smith (Class of 2016)

Although students, myself included, encounter many distractions during their time in college, the central theme of a university is undoubtedly learning. Students are challenged to learn in classrooms, study groups, libraries and their own places of residence. That being said, it stands to reason that for many, this is the most opportune time to take advantage of academic resources, including extracurricular lectures. Just as a student may borrow a book from a library, or use university connections to gain access to resources, they also have numerous opportunities to learn from intellectuals outside of their academic sphere.

Recently, I was thankful that George Fox provided me with an opportunity to listen to a wise and intelligent man speak about his passion. Doctor Michael Ward, a C.S. Lewis scholar, visited campus several weeks ago to speak about his groundbreaking insight into The Chronicles of Narnia. Ward discovered that the seven books in the series, which had long been considered to be thematically unconnected, were really based upon medieval astronomy. With great interest, I listened as the speaker explained how each book correlated to a different planet and the ancient ideas associated with it. I found that this lecture was not only intellectually valuable, but also gave me a deeper understanding of C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Dr. Ward’s lecture completely challenged me to think deeper than just what was on the surface. He inspired me to take something that I am passionate about and explore it wholeheartedly. The greatest things in life are difficult and challenging, but sometimes they are truly worth the struggle. I am grateful that I got to hear from an inspiring man talking about his passion in life.

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The Value of Real World Experience

FullSizeRender (1)-2By Jared Larson, senior psychology major

Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve been working at Newberg High School in the Counseling Office. I have been serving under school counselor Troy Monson. I’ve known him since my sophomore year of high school when he started working at my school in St. Helens, Ore. I always knew that I wanted to serve others, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to do that.

Then, during my junior year of high school, I realized that school counseling is a field I could potentially see myself go into. After my father passed away before my senior year, I knew I wanted to pursue the field. School has always been a place where I felt comfortable enough to disclose what was going on in my home life. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be that person for someone else. At the beginning of my senior year, Troy encouraged me to work in the counseling office because he knew that I was passionate about helping others and was interested in the field. So I did. That was one of the best experiences I ever had. I learned so much about myself and my peers. (more…)

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Student success: Focus on learning, not grades

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RickMuthiah-2By Rick Muthiah, Associate Director of Learning Support Services

I frequently meet with students who express high anxiety over test taking, either because they have difficulty learning course content or because they experience a mental block when they sit down to take the test. Our conversation generally winds its way to one of my most repeated phrases: focus on learning, not on grades. I drive home this point with any individual or group I meet with to talk about academic success. Whether on tests, papers, homework or projects, I practically beg students to exert their effort on the learning process and to let go of any fixation on grades. A funny thing happens for those who invest in learning – they generally end up with good grades, too. Conversely, students can get an A in a class without learning much from the course.

What does it look like to focus on learning? Let’s start with a commonly repeated formula that suggests that students should spend two hours out of class for every hour in class. To be frank, most college students aren’t spending sufficient time on learning activities once they leave class; they are spending about one hour out of class for every hour in class – half the recommended time. This standard will certainly fluctuate based on course demands and time of semester, yet a survey of students at my institution indicated that 70 percent spent 15 hours or less per week preparing for class (studying, reading, writing, doing homework or lab work, analyzing data, rehearsing and other academic activities). Given that a full-time course load is 12 to 18 hours of class per week, many students are skimping on learning activities.
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