Financial aid: making it work


HOMETOWN: Fairfield, Calif.
MAJOR: geology
CAREER GOAL: a master's and (hopefully!) PhD in volcanology

When most people look at colleges, the first thing on their mind is finances ... When I ended up getting really, really great scholarships and financial aid at Calvin, I knew I could definitely make this work.

Brianna Marshall started looking for a college with a simple Google search: "geology + Christian college."

"That's when I found out Calvin existed."

For the Fairfield, California, native, heading to a Michigan college might have been a stretch. But she loved the fact that Calvin's website just kept taking her deeper and deeper in to a subject that she loved.

"What I love about geology is that there are always new mysteries. I can discover a new mineral or figure out how mantel convection works, exploring how, inside the earth, new oceanic crust is being generated. At Calvin, I have the opportunity to explore all that."

Would a geology program alone have been enough to get such a highly-motivated student to Calvin? Providentially, she says, her financial aid package made it all come together.

"It's been like a journey, and I just laugh because really, I can't even afford to go to this school. But the Lord has met me every step of the way. As I've gotten more diligent, more opportunities have opened up. That would be my encouragement to students who want to come to Calvin. Work hard and be diligent, but trust that God will open up doors of opportunity."


  1. Living on Calvin's Creation Care floor, exploring God's world with like-minded students
  2. Working alongside a professor as a teaching assistant in a geology lab
  3. Taking voice lessons and singing in Gospel Choir, an ethnically diverse musical ensemble
  4. Studying volcanoes in Hawaii during Calvin's January interim
  5. Classes like Philosophy 153, a course she dreaded taking, but one that her professor made come alive through discussions about faith and life
  6. Receiving the Bruce Dice Geology Scholarship, a renewable award which includes a paid position as student docent in the on-campus Dice Mineralogical Museum


You'll get an excellent education. Period.

Reason #2

Amazing professors who will challenge, encourage and support you.

Reason #3

Deep relationships without all the peer pressure of the party scene.

VERGE: spring 2013

First-Year Experience