Close the Gap award program
In 2014, Augustana President Steve Bahls attended a national summiton Expanding College Opportunity. At this summit, presidents from 85 colleges and universities pledged to help more low-income students attend and complete college.
Augustana Trustee Julie K. Hamann ’82 had an idea of how to make an Augustana education more accessible to high-ability, high-financial need students.
She made an initial gift of $800,000 and challenged the college to raise another $1 million to help “close the gap” in the financial aid package of high-need, high-caliber students who just needed a little additional help to attend Augustana.
Hamann was moved to contribute such a generous sum because she believed a program like this would open the door for students who would enjoy all that Augustana has to offer and succeed in the same challenging and caring environment she enjoyed as a student. She and all those who pledged funds to this program were right — and our campus community continues to welcome many wonderful, bright students because of their kindness and commitment.
Close the Gap Awards are four-year financial awards for high-ability, low-income students who have need that goes beyond the assistance available through traditional scholarships, grants and loans. This award program allows Augustana to do what it has always done best — recognize and grow a student’s potential, regardless of background or means.
A Close the Gap award of $2,500 a year is often all it takes to make Augustana affordable for a great student who might never have considered a high-quality education such as Augustana offers to be within reach.
• $4,160,207 has been committed by donors to Close the Gap since 2015.
• In four years, 202 individuals, families, foundations or corporations have given Close the Gap assistance.
• In May 2018, 90 students who received Close the Gap awards to attend Augustana (the first group of seniors) will graduate.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to help. It’s a way we can raise awareness and raise money to allow Augustana to do what it does best. Attending Augie is a life-changing experience. The college also will be enriched by having these best and brightest students on campus.”
“I’m stunned at how much the people at Augie care.”