Close the Gap

Augustana College (IL)

[White House Summit on College Opportunity, Jan. 2014]

Augustana’s “Close the Gap” program – announced in December in response to the President’s call to action – will improve access to high-quality, private, higher education for students with financial need that exceeds 80 percent of the cost to attend ($36,000 and above). Augustana College will address under-matching by cutting these students’ unmet financial need by $2,500 to $7,500 annually. To date $800,000 has been raised from private donors toward the $1 million the College estimates will be needed in order to reach its goal of positively impacting 10 percent of the class entering in fall of 2014 (70 students) for each of the next four years. 

Building on Existing Efforts: This new commitment builds on Augustana’s existing efforts to support success for low- income students. Augustana invested more than $39 million in financial aid grants and scholarships last year, and 96 percent of its enrolled students received some type of financial assistance. Augustana incents students with a $500 Early Filers Award encouraging Pell- and near-Pell-eligible students to complete the FAFSA in time to avoid early cut-offs in the State of Illinois’ Monetary Award Program; last year only 4 students failed to meet the deadline for MAP eligibility.

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