Nathan Icenhower, Director of Financial Aid at Bushnell University, guides students through the intricacies of receiving and maintaining financial aid. He specializes in making college education financially feasible for students, bridging the gap for students to afford their education to help them discover and answer God’s calling in their lives.
What is your position here at Bushnell and what do your daily tasks include?
I am the Director of Financial Aid. I have been a part of the Financial Aid Staff at Bushnell for almost 10 years now and have worked mostly with online and graduate students in that time. It wasn’t until this past year that I started really working with our traditional daytime students. My main role is in helping students explore eligibility for federal, state, internal (Bushnell), and external scholarships, grants, and loans.
What led you to this career path?
I worked in the financial aid office at another college when I was a student. After graduating from college, I worked in ministry as a youth pastor, but felt called back to working in higher education. My previous experience led to an opportunity working back in financial aid.
Can you explain what the financial aid offices do and why the department is important?
Most students don’t have the ability to pay out of pocket for a college degree. Our job is to help bridge the gap between what it costs to keep Bushnell running and what students & families can afford.
What is the most difficult aspect about your job? What is the best?
College is one of the most expensive investments a student can make – which leads to some pretty difficult conversations. We are always trying to develop new funding opportunities for students – scholarships, grants, and even loans. The best part of my job is helping a student find resources they didn’t even know existed. My job is to help make a Bushnell education a possibility for our students, and I love helping students and making private Christian college affordable.
What is your favorite thing about Bushnell?
I love the opportunity to work in a faith-based university with such wonderful people. My colleagues are equally brilliant and generous. It is a privilege to work with them to help students discover their calling and grow in wisdom as they prepare to do amazing things in their families, communities, and throughout the world.
What advice do you have for students and families when navigating financial aid?
I would encourage all students and families to “just do the application.” Many students think the process may be too hard, or they’re sure they just won’t qualify. But I see so many opportunities missed simply because families didn’t take the time to fill out the application early in the process. Complete a FAFSA, fill out the scholarship application, don’t miss the deadline.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a pivotal component of the college application journey, has undergone crucial updates for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year. Mark your calendars for December 31, the anticipated release date for the 2024-25 FAFSA form. To access further information, visit www.studentaid.gov or contact Bushnell’s Office of Financial Aid at 541-684-7201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.