The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University GRE/GMAT Test Prep
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Vol. 10 No. 30 | March 25, 2014

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

Free tuition raffle and NAU Mom and Dad T-shirt sales support scholarships

In January 2014, Parent and Family Services had the privilege of awarding $20,000 in scholarships to 20 deserving students. We selected students from a range of academic areas from education to engineering. Recipients were from Arizona, California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Applicants were required to be full-time undergraduate students with at least 30 credits completed and a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.

These scholarships were made possible by the many parents and families who bought raffle tickets to win one semester of free tuition and NAU Mom and Dad T-shirts sold by Parent and Family Services. If you bought raffle tickets or T-shirts, you helped fund these scholarships! On behalf of Parent and Family Services, thank you for your support. I'd also like to share a letter of thanks from one of our outstanding scholarship recipients.

Dear NAU Parents and Families,

My name is Emma and I'm from Big Bear, California, and am a senior at NAU. My major is Environmental Science with an emphasis in Management and a minor in Biology, and this semester I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the NAU Parents Association.

As a senior, applying for jobs and paying back my student loans are constantly on my mind, and I cannot express enough my gratitude, relief, and delight at receiving this scholarship. I have aspirations of working in Conservation or Environmental Education (neither of which is known for giving a fat paycheck), and scholarships such as this will allow me to follow my bliss without massive loans hanging over my head.

Thank you for your contributions to this scholarship, which give students, such as myself, the opportunity to take our first steps into the workforce with lighter shoulders and a multitude of options and opportunities.

--Emma Hilliard

Next time you are on campus stop by the Central Ticket Office in the University Union and purchase some raffle tickets ($5 each or 5 or $20) or an NAU Mom or Dad T-shirt. We will select the raffle winner during Family Weekend (September 26-28, 2014).

Please contact me if you have questions or would like additional information.

Prepare for the GRE® and GMAT® with NAU Graduate Test Prep

by Andrea Graves, Student Learning Centers

Student Learning Centers on campus offer affordable graduate test preparation in two formats: courses and individual instruction.

We help students prepare for two common graduate school admissions tests: the Graduate Record Exam (GRE®) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT®). We offer practical tools and resources in either an interactive classroom or a 1:1 instruction environment.

Our Instructional Specialists, Nancy Baca (Quantitative) and Heidi Schuler (Verbal), are both NAU alumnae and current NAU faculty. Our specialists are both highly experienced in classroom and 1:1 instruction and they enjoy helping students develop skills and confidence for success on challenging standardized tests.

The course format includes 28+ hours of classroom instruction with a broad review of key content areas. The individual instruction format includes 4-6 hours of 1:1 personalized instruction with a targeted review of key content areas. Both formats include a full set of Lifelines™ math and verbal workbooks and a course pack with extra tips and resources for study techniques and test taking strategies. All students take two full-length practice tests and have access to instructor office hours in person, by phone, or through e-mail and online chat sessions.

All courses are offered on the Flagstaff campus. Registration, schedules, and further details are on our website. Talk to your student today about signing up!

4 Tips For Empowering Your Student

by Dan Phillips, Counseling Services

Springtime on a college campus can mean transition. I recently listened to a TED talk given by Phuc Tran about grammar. He focused primarily on the subjunctive mood which deals with information that is not factual, but frames things that could have been or could be (e.g., "if it hadn't rained, we could have gone to the beach" or "if I complete this class, I'll have 30 credits and will be a sophomore).

The subjunctive can be both paralyzing and empowering. The paralyzing and empowering uncertainty of the future can be especially present for students nearing graduation but also present for those who are moving from one year to the next. There are steps that can be taken to limit the paralyzing nature of the future and enhance the empowerment that comes from considering what can be. Consider these strategies for empowering your student with his/her thoughts about the future.

  • Provide support by highlighting past successes and validating any concerns they have
  • Ask students about their personal aspirations and actively listen to their ideas
  • Provide personal experiences about similar life transitions with respect for the uniqueness of their life experiences
  • Encourage students to connect with resources that will enhance their opportunities in the future

There are many resources available on campus to help with preparing applications and resumes as well as resources about practicums, internships, and opportunities to study abroad. There are also resources, like Counseling Services, to help students manage thoughts about the future that become overwhelming. Being supportive, open, and helpful in our dialogue with students will help them to be empowered, rather than paralyzed, by the future.

Understanding The '23 Fee'

The Associated Students of Northern Arizona University (ASNAU) exists to be the voice of the students at the university, in Flagstaff, statewide and at the national level. Every university student pays $23 each semester toward what is known as the "23 Fee." The 23 Fee pays for a variety of outstanding services and programs for students that are coordinated by ASNAU. Here is a sample of some of the programs funded by the 23 Fee:

  • Funding for registered clubs and organizations on campus
  • Free legal council
  • Late-night hours at the Cline Library
  • Study abroad scholarships
  • Free school spirit T-shirts
  • Activities and giveaways during student tailgating and the Lumberyard student section at home sporting events.
  • Big name performers: Ellie Goulding will be in concert on April 10, 2014 in the Skydome. Free for Flagstaff campus students only.


Parents, sign in to My Student Body to learn more about this complete alcohol, drug, and wellness program at Northern Arizona University.

Passcode: nauparent

Event Highlights

See a complete listing of university events on the official university calendar website. More Flagstaff event highlights can be seen at Flagstaff 365.