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Your financial aid guide, 2024-25

In this guide, Augustana’s Office of Financial Aid provides straightforward information about financial aid, including scholarships and grants, federal loans and private loans, a timeline for payments and even a glossary of terms.

It should give you some informative background as you compare colleges, weighing the cost and worth, the value of experiences, the investment you’ll make, and the investment your college will make in you.

Financial aid is a very important part of the college search and experience, and we are here to help. If you have any questions, please contact any of us in the Office of Financial Aid.

Scholarships and grants

Scholarships and grants are awards that do not need to be repaid. Scholarships are gift awards based on merit rather than financial need; grants are typically awarded based on financial need, and may change from year to year depending on FAFSA results.

Amounts for Augustana academic merit scholarships remain the same each year they are renewed. Students who do not meet the required renewal GPA may receive a lower scholarship, depending on their Augustana cumulative year-end GPA. Academic scholarships are automatically considered based on a student’s application to the college.

The following additional institutional scholarships and grants are based on criteria other than academic merit or financial need.

  • Meal Plan Grant – Available each semester a full meal plan is purchased. (Not available during a study away semester or to remission/exchange recipients.)
  • Housing Grant – Available each semester a student lives in college housing. (Not available during a study away semester, or for remission/exchange recipients or community advisers in the residence halls.)
  • Talent scholarship (art, music, theatre arts) – Renewable based on departmental criteria
  • Academic Scholarship Day scholarship – Renewable annually
  • Campus Visit Grant – Renewable annually
  • Early Filers Grant – Renewable if FAFSA filed by November 1 and received first year enrolled
  • Out-of-State Grant – Renewable if you reside outside Illinois and received first year enrolled
  • Alumni Scholarship – Renewable annually



Loans are funds that must be paid back after a student is no longer enrolled in college at least half-time. Most loans include interest.

Federal Direct Loans

Subsidized and Unsubsidized

Students who file the FAFSA may borrow through the Federal Direct Loan Program (the U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program.) If you are eligible, the Federal Direct Loan has been included in your financial aid award notification and you may either accept or reject all or a portion of the Federal Direct Loan.

If awarded, the Federal Direct Loan is used in calculating your out-of-pocket cost on the estimated cost worksheet.

Eligibility for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The interest on these loans is paid by the government while you are in school and enrolled at least half-time.

Any student is eligible for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, regardless of financial need. The student is responsible for the interest on this loan and has the option to pay the interest while in school or to capitalize the interest (with the principal) and begin repayment after the six-month grace period or after dropping below half-time enrollment.  

The interest rate (currently 5.50%) for the Federal Direct Loan is fixed and is determined yearly. A federal origination fee (currently 1.057%) is determined yearly and is deducted from the proceeds of the loan. 

Loan limits are as follows (a minimum of $2,000 will be unsubsidized):

First year$5,500

Repayment begins six months after you graduate, or leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. Standard repayment is 10 years. If you go on to graduate school and are enrolled at least half-time, you may qualify for a deferment. During this period, you can postpone making loan payments until you complete your degree program. 

To process your Federal Direct Loan, complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at

Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students

A parent can apply for a PLUS loan to cover any remaining costs after financial aid. A parent must be approved to borrow.

As a parent, you are eligible to apply if:

  • your student has filed the FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year; 
  • you are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  • you are the legal, adoptive or stepparent of the student.

The interest rate (currently 8.05%) for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is fixed and is determined yearly. A federal origination fee (currently 4.228%) is determined yearly and is deducted from the proceeds of the loan.

Yearly loan limits are calculated by subtracting a student’s total financial aid from the cost of attendance to arrive at a maximum amount a parent can borrow.

Repayment begins either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed for the academic year, or six months after the dependent student is not enrolled at least half-time. The repayment period for the PLUS Loan ranges from 10 to 25 years.

To apply, parents will need to complete the online PLUS application at (available June 1, 2024.)

  • If approved for the PLUS Loan, the parent must complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  • If denied for the PLUS Loan, the parent may choose from the following options:
    • Attempt a credit status override by providing documentation to the Student Loan Center if you have extenuating circumstances.
    • Have a third-party endorser co-sign the PLUS application with you.
    • Other parent may apply, to see if approved.
    • Choose not to appeal the denial. Instead, your dependent student may borrow an additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan up to $4,000 per academic year for first-year and sophomore students, or up to $5,000 per academic year for junior and senior students.

More information about Federal Direct PLUS Loans can be found at or by contacting the Student Loan Support Center (800-557-7394).

Private Loans

In some cases, families need to borrow more than what is available through federal loans. A few lenders offer private loans to students who meet credit criteria or have a credit-worthy cosigner.

You should consider private loans only after pursuing all Federal Direct Loan options. If you choose to pursue a private loan, submit the application during the summer prior to the academic year, planning for the entire academic year instead of each semester. Approved private loan funds are disbursed directly to Augustana College.

Yearly loan limits are calculated by subtracting a student’s total financial aid from the cost of attendance to arrive at a maximum amount a student can borrow.

Interest rates vary and interest accrues while the student is enrolled.

Repayment typically begins six months after graduation or if the student falls below half-time enrollment. Repayment periods vary by lender.

To start the private loan process, you will need to identify a lender and apply for the loan through them. Augustana utilizes ELM Select to provide families with a user-friendly loan comparison tool featuring lenders on our historical lender list. This tool allows you to easily compare rates and terms, as well as filter loan products to your preferences. Visit and search for Augustana College.*

*Augustana College does not promote, recommend or endorse any lender listed on Augustana does not maintain a preferred lender list. Lenders listed on consist of lenders who have made private loans to Augustana students over the past three years. Augustana will process private loans through any lender of your choice; you are not limited to the lenders listed at

Federal work study and student employment


Augustana employs students on campus, promoting many valuable and transferable skills for life after college. Through Federal Word Study (FWS), students are awarded funding for educational expenses, which they earn through working an on-campus job. They may use their wages for tuition or living expenses. FWS is not included in the calculation for each student’s cost to attend.

The Federal Work-Study Program is for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. If you are eligible to participate in the FWS program, you will see your FWS award noted on your financial aid award notification.

The FWS award does not guarantee employment; if you are interested in working on campus, you will need to apply for open positions. Students with no FWS award are still eligible to work on campus. 

The maximum number of hours a student may work in an on-campus job is 10 hours per week. Students are paid an hourly wage on a bi-weekly pay schedule.

Earnings are not automatically applied to a student’s billing account. You may arrange with the Business Office to have your earnings applied directly to your bill, but most students choose to be paid directly to help cover living expenses.

Tuition payment options


Based on your financial aid offer, one-half of your accepted grants, scholarships and loans will be subtracted from each semester’s charges. Your balance for the semester will be reflected on your online billing statement. 

Twice per Year/Once per Semester

Unless you arrange to participate in the monthly payment plan (see next section) or apply for a PLUS loan or private loan that covers the full year, your balance is due the first day of the start of the semester. 

For the 2024-25 academic year:

  • Fall semester begins Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2024.
  • Spring semester begins Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2025.

You may pay using one of the following:

  • Cash (in person) or check (in person or by mail), to the Business Office in Sorensen Hall, or
  • ePayment/Transact – Campus. This system allows you (and any authorized users) to view account activity and pay bills when it is most convenient. This real-time system gives you the option of paying either by electronic check (ACH) with no convenience fee, or by credit/debit card, which includes a 2.95% convenience fee for domestic card payments. The service fee for international card payments is 4.25%. We accept MasterCard, American Express, VISA and Discover. 

Monthly Payment Plans

Augustana offers mostly payment plans through Transact-Campus to pay all or part of net annual costs through regularly scheduled monthly payments. Payments are made online by ACH transfer or credit/debit card. There is no fee for ACH transfers; domestic credit/debit payments incur a 2.95% fee. For international card payments, the fee is 4.25%. A $60 non-refundable enrollment fee must be paid when the plan is set up.

Plans can be set with due dates on the 1st or 15th of each month and families can enroll any time in the months of June-September. All plans end in April of the next year. Information about signing up for a monthly payment plan will be provided by the Business Office in early summer.

Payment Option Combinations

You may choose to use several payment options to pay your remaining out-of-pocket cost. You will need to identify the right combination of payment options that fit your family’s financial circumstances.

Some examples of how a family might use different payment options include:

• Use a Parent PLUS Loan and a monthly payment plan.

• Make direct payments to the college and use a private student loan.

• Use a Parent PLUS Loan and a private student loan.

If you feel a combination of options is best, we will gladly work with your arrangement. 

Please note: Monthly payment plans must be arranged through Transact-Campus.

For more information about payment options, see student accounts: billing and payments through Augustana’s Business Office.

Financial aid terms and conditions


This section provides information regarding your aid offer and individual awards you may have received. If you have received an offer requiring additional applications or documents before your account can be credited, those instructions will be provided at a later time.

By accepting the offer of financial aid, you understand and agree to these terms and conditions. You also might review the complete listing of eligibility and policies for financial aid.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you wish to reject or reduce any of your award offers.


General information

You must reapply each year by completing the FAFSA for all institutional, state and federal need-based grants, work-study, and loans. 

All aid is subject to change based on institutional, state and federal funding.

Financial aid recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree to receive aid. See also the complete satisfactory academic progress policy


Enrollment requirements

Institutional and federal aid is based on full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 hours per semester) unless otherwise noted on your financial aid cover letter.

Institutional funds are available to full-time (minimum of 12 hours per semester) students without a degree for up to 8 semesters of enrollment.

Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) may be reduced/cancelled based on enrollment in less than 12 credit hours.

Illinois MAP Grant recipients should review the information under Award Terms and Conditions

Note: The IL MAP Grant (Est.) award is based on enrollment in 15 or more credit hours each semester. Enrollment in fewer than 15 credit hours per semester will decrease the estimated award amount.

Students who never attend a class, causing their enrollment to drop to part-time, will no longer qualify for institutional funds for that semester. All financial aid will be recalculated based on part-time enrollment. 

It is the student’s obligation to notify the Office of Financial Aid of enrollment changes at any point in the semester. 


Award terms and conditions

If you have met eligibility criteria for the following awards, you will be notified on your Financial Aid Award Notification.

Academic Merit Scholarships

To renew an academic merit scholarship, you must maintain the required Augustana cumulative year-end GPA: 3.0 for Presidential Scholars, 2.75 for Dean’s Scholars, 2.50 for Founders Scholars.

To renew a transfer merit scholarship, you must maintain the required Augustana cumulative year-end GPA: 3.0 for Bell Tower Scholars, 3.0 for Blue & Gold Scholars, 2.75 for Denkmann Scholars, and 2.50 for Carlsson Scholars.

Endowed Scholarship funds

If you have been awarded an endowed scholarship, the Augustana Office of Advancement will notify you during the school year with instructions for writing a note of thanks to the scholarship donor or trustee.

If an endowed scholarship is not listed on your Award Notification, you did not meet the scholarship criteria or all funds have been awarded for the current academic year.

Federal Pell Grant

Where Pell Grants are involved, the sources of funding for your institutional scholarships are subject to change.

Augustana Loan

The Augustana Loan may be available to undergraduate students who have filed a FAFSA and have significant financial need. Augustana College is your lender for this loan. The Augustana Loan accrues no interest while you are enrolled at least half-time. Loan repayment begins six months after graduation or when you leave the college and are not enrolled at another school half-time or more. The interest rate in repayment is fixed at 6.5%; this means your actual rate remains the same for the entire term of the loan. The standard repayment period is eight years, with minimum monthly payments of $50. 

Funds are disbursed to student accounts each semester. 

All borrowers must complete a Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling and a Disclosure Statement prior to the first disbursement of each year awarded. The Augustana Business Office and Augustana’s loan servicer, Heartland ECSI, will contact eligible students about completing these items.

All borrowers must complete a new Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling and a Disclosure Statement prior to disbursement of any increased loan amount within the same academic year. 

Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan is available to undergraduate students who have filed a FAFSA. First-time borrowers must complete a Federal Direct Loan Agreement for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN), and Entrance Counseling in order for the loan to be disbursed. 

If you wish to reduce or reject the loan amount, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Federal Work-Study 

Federal Work-Study positions are not assigned. Students are responsible for finding work with the assistance of the Career Office in CORE, located on the first floor of the Olin Center. Go to to learn more.

Students are paid an hourly wage on a bi-weekly pay schedule. Full-time students are exempt from paying Social Security (FICA) and Medicare taxes.

Earnings are not credited against the student bill unless arrangements are made with the Business Office. Most students use their wages to pay for personal expenses and/or books. 

Augie Choice

Augie Choice is considered a resource when calculating eligibility for loans and Federal Work-Study. Use of Augie Choice may result in an adjustment to student and parent loans and/or Federal Work-Study.

Private/Outside Scholarships or Loans

Federal guidelines require you to notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately of any additional grants/scholarships/loans you have received that are not listed on your financial aid offer.

Augustana Possible Grants and other aid may be changed in accordance with state, federal and institutional policies.

Private/outside scholarships are not credited to your account until the check is received by Augustana College.

529 College Pre-paid Tuition Plan (i.e., College Illinois, etc.)

Notify the Office of Financial Aid if you are a beneficiary of a 529 pre-paid tuition plan. If you have College Illinois, these funds will be estimated in your aid package as follows:

  • If 8 semesters have been purchased, your award is estimated at 30 hours per academic year.
  • If 4 semesters have been purchased, your award is estimated at 15 hours per academic year.
Illinois MAP Grant

By applying for financial aid and agreeing to share that information with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) you have been considered for the State of Illinois (IL) Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant. All MAP-approved institutions are required by the State of Illinois to announce MAP Grant awards to students who are enrolled or intending to enroll at their institution. An award amount is included in your financial aid package if you have met the eligibility criteria. 

The MAP Grant award amount is an estimate made by the financial aid office and is identified as a “State of IL MAP Grant (Est)”. Please be aware that the number of available MAP Grants is limited by funding levels approved by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor, and reductions to estimated or actual MAP Grants are possible. 

There are also limitations to how long you can continue to receive a MAP Grant. Usage is tracked by the number of credit hours for which you’ve received MAP benefits and is referred to as MAP Paid Credit Hours (MPCHs). The maximum number of MPCHs that can be received is 135, which is equivalent to approximately four and a half years of full-time enrollment. For your reference, and to learn more about MPCH limitations, you may access a record of your MPCHs, as well as other student resources, through the ISAC Student Portal at

Eligibility for the need-based MAP Grant award may indicate that you are eligible for assistance with expenses such as food, housing, or child care for dependent children. If you have dependent care expenses, ask the financial aid office about the federal dependent care allowance. For eligibility and application information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Child Care Assistance Program, contact the Illinois Department of Human Services at 800-843-6154 or Contact the Illinois Hunger Coalition Hunger Hotline at 800-359-2163 or


Disbursement of funds

Institutional, state and federal funds are disbursed each semester and are credited to your account in the Business Office.

Outside scholarships are credited to your account when the funds are received in the Office of Financial Aid.

The Federal Direct Loan is credited to your account when the MPN and Entrance Counseling are complete.

The Augustana Loan is credited to your account when the Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling and Disclosure Statement are complete.

Federal Work-Study funds are not credited to your account. Students receive a paycheck or direct deposit on a biweekly basis for the hours they have worked.

Glossary of terms


Cost of Attendance (COA): The estimated total cost of attending an institution

  • Tuition – Charges assessed for classes and/or other coursework
  • Fees – Charges assessed for other college services 
  • Housing – Includes residence hall charges for on-campus students or an estimate of rent and utilities for an off-campus student
  • Meals – Includes the cost of a meal plan and/or an estimate of the costs of food prepared at home
  • Estimated costs for transportation, books and supplies and miscellaneous personal expenses

Educational Loan: A form of financial aid that must be repaid. Educational loans have varying fees, interest rates, repayment terms, and/or borrower protections.

  • Federal Direct Student Loan: Federal funds made available to the student that must be paid back. To be eligible, the student must have filed a FAFSA and be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of study. Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, with options to delay payment available.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan: Loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. Undergraduate students with financial need can qualify. The government pays the interest on the loan while the student remains enrolled at least half-time and during certain periods when the government allows deferment. There are annual limits on the amounts that may be borrowed, which vary by the student’s year in school and status as dependent or independent.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: Loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. Undergraduate students qualify, provided they have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Interest accrual begins immediately, and the student can choose to pay the interest while enrolled or upon entering repayment. There are annual limits on the amounts that may be borrowed, which vary by the student’s year in school and status as dependent or independent.
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan (PLUS): Loan funds provided to the parents of dependent undergraduate students by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. This federal loan program allows parents with no adverse credit history to apply for a loan amount up to the Cost of Attendance each year, less any financial aid received by the dependent student. Repayment of principal and interest begins immediately once the loan is fully disbursed, with some options to delay payment available.
  • Private Loan: A student or parent loan from a commercial, state-affiliated or institutional lender used to pay for up to the annual Cost of Attendance, less any financial aid received. Private loans have varying interest rates, fees and repayment options and usually require the applicant to be creditworthy, or have a creditworthy cosigner. Repayment generally begins 6 months after graduation or the student falls below half-time enrollment.

Enrollment Status: Academic workload (or course load), as defined by the institution in which a student is enrolled for a defined academic period. This normally relates to the student’s number of credit hours or clock hours during a given academic period (e.g., full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, etc.).

Expected Direct Costs: Charges included in the Cost of Attendance that the student/family pays directly to the college.

Federal Pell Grant: A federal grant provided by the federal government to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. The Pell Grant amount is prorated based on Enrollment Status.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): A federal grant awarded by the institution to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.

Federal Work-Study (FWS): A federal program offered and administered by the institution that provides opportunity for part-time employment to students with financial need to help pay their educational expenses. Students are responsible for finding qualified employment. Funds are paid out through a paycheck, as earned.

Gift Aid: Funds awarded to the student that do not have to be repaid, as long as the student meets the conditions for the gift. Can include grants, scholarships, remissions, awards, waivers, etc. Gift aid can be awarded based upon many factors, including (but not limited to) financial need; academic excellence; musical and/or theatrical talent; affiliation with various groups; and/or career aspirations.

Grant: Gift Aid awarded to the student that does not need to be repaid. Grants are typically based on financial need as determined by FAFSA results. Grant amounts may change from one year to another if the Student Aid Index (SAI) changes. 

Indirect Costs: Estimated expenses in the Cost of Attendance that are not paid directly to the institution.

Out-of-pocket Cost: Amount of direct costs remaining after all gift aid (scholarships and grants) and federal student loans and/or Augustana loans are subtracted.

Scholarship: Gift Aid that is typically based on merit such as academic excellence, talent, affiliation with various groups, career aspirations, or a combination of merit and need. Scholarships are often renewable as long as students meet renewal criteria such as minimum GPA, etc.

Self-help: Financial aid in the form of loans or student employment. Student employment earnings (including Federal Work-Study awards) are generally not deducted from billed costs but can be used to help cover indirect costs and are paid in the form of wages to the student.

Student Aid Index (SAI): An eligibility index that college financial aid staff use to determine how much financial aid a student would receive. The SAI is calculated according to a formula specified in law and is based upon the information provided by the student and their family on the FAFSA.

Verification: A federally mandated process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by selected applicants on the FAFSA. To complete the verification process, the student, their parent(s), or spouse, if applicable, are required to provide certain documents to the school for review. If the documentation the student provides the institution doesn’t match what was reported on the FAFSA, verification can result in changes to the student’s financial aid eligibility, and/or financial aid offered.

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