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Augie Choice update for the class of 2021

Augustana is very proud to offer our Augie Choice program, which provides every student the opportunity to access a grant of up to $2,000 to support a qualifying high-impact learning experience (study away, internship or research/creative scholarship).

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to the cancellation of study abroad trips and changed the availability of certain internships, etc., forcing many students to reconsider their plans for Augie Choice. 

We are committed to helping the class of 2021 whose use of Augie Choice may have been impacted by the pandemic find and participate in qualifying high-impact experiences that allow them to utilize their Augie Choice grant and enhance their education.

For the 2020-21 academic year, Augustana will temporarily expand Augie Choice opportunities to the graduating class of 2021 so that every student in this class will have an opportunity to use Augie Choice as intended. 

This temporary expansion involves two main strategies:

• Extending the deadline for graduating seniors to complete an Augie choice-eligible experience to August of 2021

• Broadening the scope of eligible research/creative scholarship, internship and study away opportunities.

Guiding principles for Augie Choice in the age of COVID-19

Augie Choice is designed to support students’ high-impact, peak experiences that foster learning and growth through international study, registered internships, and research and creative scholarship.

• All Augie Choice experiences involve inquiry, engagement, and reflection.
• All students may apply for Augie Choice funding, but students are not guaranteed Augie Choice upon enrollment at Augustana.

Apply for Augie Choice

Augie Choice is a program that provides students up to $2,000 to defray non-tuition costs of international study, registered internships, and research/creative scholarship. These students may apply for funding for international study, registered internships or research/creative experiences taking place once they achieve 60 Augustana credits. Transfer students are eligible after one year of enrollment.

  • Students must apply for Augie Choice funding
  • Applications must be submitted 60 days prior to the first day of the experience to allow time for adjustments to financial aid packages to be implemented
  • Checks will be distributed approximately 30 days prior to the beginning of an Augie Choice experience, when the application is completed in a timely manner
  • If a student fails to complete the Augie Choice approved experience, their approved funding must be returned to the college or the full amount will be added to the student's account in the business office

Changes for the class of 2021

In most years, graduating seniors may apply for Augie Choice funding as long as the Augie Choice experience is concluded by June 30 of the student's graduation year. For the graduating class of 2021, graduating seniors will be able to pursue an experience that concludes on August 13, 2021 (for credit bearing experiences) or August 31, 2021 (for non-credit bearing experiences).

Applying Augie Choice to a previous qualifying experience

  • If a student was granted Augie Choice funds for a qualifying experience that was subsequently canceled due to COVID-19 and the student is asked to return those funds, the student may appeal to have the fund applied retroactively to an earlier qualifying experience. 
  • If there is evidence that a student planned to apply for Augie Choice funds for a qualifying experience that would take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the student never applied because it was clear the experience had been or would be cancelled due to the pandemic, the student may appeal to have augie choice retroactively applied to an earlier qualifying experience. 
  • If there is no evidence that a student planned to apply for Augie Choice during the time of COVID-19, the student will not receive Augie Choice funds for earlier qualifying experiences. 

Expanded Augie Choice opportunities for the class of 2021

Augustana will continue to utilize the three main categories for qualifying Augie Choice experiences (study away, internship or research/creative scholarship) for the class of 2021, but will define each category more broadly as we strive to find ways to connect this year's graduating seniors with Augie Choice funding opportunities. 

Examples of experiences that will be considered for Augie Choice funding during the 2020-21 academic year that have not been considered in the past (and will not necessarily be considered for Augie Choice funding after the 2020-21 year) are shared below:

Study away

  • Students may enroll in an online class offered through a foreign university
  • Students may engage in an online internship experience that is offered by a foreign business or institution
  • Contact the Director of International and Off-Campus Programs, Pedro Bidegaray, to discuss these and other options for alternative study away experiences

Internships

  • All students should know that the CORE office is usually able to connect students with meaningful internship opportunities. Students who are no longer able to use Augie Choice for study away due to cancellation are encouraged to reach out to CORE to explore internship possibilities.
  • CORE is also working to establish new internship opportunities that have not been utilized in the past, such as:
    • Augustana projects: explore Augustana's archives, work in Augustana's art museum, or find other ways to serve an internship right here on campus as you develop a project that will enhance Augustana in the years to come.
    • Local community service: have an idea for making a positive contribution in the Quad City community? CORE can help you transform your idea into a formal internship experience. Your Augie Choice money could be used to compensate you for the work you perform, to provide funding for a tangible contribution you wish to give to the community, or both.

Read the student guide to community and campus-based projects for the class of 2021.

Research/Creative Scholarship

  • Conference attendance: use Augie Choice to cover costs associated with attendance and participation at conferences in your academic or professional field. 
  • Senior Inquiry: consult with your academic advisor or with Augustana's Coordinator of Student Research and Creative Scholarship, Mariano Magalhães, to discuss project ideas for your Senior Inquiry experience. To be Augie Choice eligible, your work would need to go beyond the minimum requirements, to create a high-impact experience. If your research/creative scholarship can be enhanced with the purchase of necessary materials (lab equipment, materials, etc.), Augie Choice might be used to cover those costs.

What students can do now

• Direct questions about projects or internships and registering experiences to Bobbie Tidball, Assistant Director, Internships.
Direct questions regarding Augie Choice to Beth Ford, Augie Choice Coordinator.
Update your resume.

Continue to look for internships: internships have not been cancelled. Employers continue to seek students for spring and summer internships. Many are offered remotely.

• If you need assistance with your search or resume, schedule an appointment with your career coach. 

How to make an appointment:

  • Sign in to Handshake with your Augustana email and password (what you use to access Arches etc.)
  • On the top, you will see "Career Center," click "Appointments"
  • On the next page, click the blue button at the top of the page that says "Schedule a new appointment"
  • Select "Career development topics" or "Vocational exploration"
  • Pick a specific topic and you will be connected to the appropriate career coach or advisor

Beginning Dec. 15, approved projects will be posted to Handshake

  • Projects will be searchable by the label augiechoiceprojects
  • Projects will continue to be posted through Jan. 15
  • Application deadline for all projects is Jan. 15; if projects are not filled, they will be opened up for other students to apply