Evangel presents online giving opportunity to help students return to school this fall
August 31, 2012 | Chase Replogle
Another fall semester has begun and the Evangel University campus is alive with activity. Freshmen arrived on Friday, August 24. Staff members worked diligently to make sure last-minute applications were processed, all financial packages were complete, and schedules were in place for new and returning students.
Although there is much excitement that accompanies this time of year, a sense of urgency is present as well. Some returning students are in jeopardy of not being able to complete their time at Evangel because of financial hardship. (Story continues below)
Health problems cause uncertainty
Senior Camille Brand, an Advertising/Public Relations major, knows the anxiety this situation brings. During her sophomore year at Evangel, her father became disabled and had to retire from his work as a missionary with Assemblies of God U.S. Missions. It was a significant financial crisis for the family, and Brand was faced with the possibility of having to leave Evangel.
The urgency of her situation did not go unnoticed by Evangel’s administrators and those who were working with her financial aid package. She remembers vividly when she found out that through the generous provisions made by Evangel’s donors, she would receive institutional aid that would allow her to continue her education at Evangel.
“It was a difficult situation, not knowing if I would return to Evangel. I was already established, and I loved it here,” Brand says. “I am so thankful God provided through the generous donors who give faithfully to Evangel. Because of the institutional aid I received, I was able to continue my education and now I am beginning my senior year.”
Pushing through family crisis
Each semester, similar situations are repeated. Our financial aid advisors work closely with every Evangel student to ensure they receive the funding for which they qualify. Approximately 90 percent of them receive some type of financial aid, and 42 percent receive institutional aid (grants or tuition discounts that come out of Evangel’s budget).
Sometimes, however, the funds fall short — especially in difficult economic times when so many families are struggling. Often the students affected are hardworking, high-achieving, talented individuals who are active in campus activities and volunteer in the community. Some are currently waiting to hear back from our financial aid officers to learn whether or not they will be able to finish their Evangel experience.
Senior Rich Jones is in this situation right now. His story is one of sorrow, but also one of hope. After years of marriage, his parents divorced. The results were devastating, and Jones is now completely on his own. He depends on his own resources to live and continue his education.
In spite of the shattering events that have occurred with his family, Jones decided to come to Evangel.
“I want to be in ministry, and I want to provide for my family someday,” says Jones, who is majoring in Business Management and Marketing and triple minoring in Intercultural Studies, Biblical Studies and Math. “I have no doubt Evangel is preparing me to be successful.”
Jones has been given assistance through Evangel’s institutional aid in the past, but is facing a shortfall in his finances again this year.
YOU can help!
The administrators, staff and faculty at Evangel do not want students like Jones to be unable to return. They have a heart for their students, and because of this, a special opportunity is being presented for all friends and family of Evangel to give. These funds will enable more students to come back to school this year.
Jim Williams, vice president for Institutional Advancement, says this type of donation is an investment in the future.
“This is all about students,” he says. “I wish I could pull out my bottom desk drawer and say, ‘How much do you need?’ I’m moved with compassion for a student who is in need. I’ve had the EU experience. I know the value it has. It makes all the difference in the world, and I hate to see anyone fall by the wayside. The students we are talking about are all returning students.”
Williams encourages alumni to invest today in the future of Evangel. “What is a university? It is beautiful buildings. It is football. It is a network of computers. It is well-trained faculty. But you don’t have a university if you don’t have students.”