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The AUGUSTANA NOW campaign: Affordability

Gifts to AUGUSTANA NOW touched every part of campus. Here are some key achievements in the area of affordability.

Abrams Challenge 

The AUGUSTANA NOW campaign raised $55 million to strengthen the endowment and further secure the college’s future. 

The Susan ’76 and Ken Abrams Challenge in 2016 was a driving force in raising these dollars. The premise was simple: If a donor made a gift or pledge of $25,000 or more to an endowed scholarship, the Abrams would match those funds up to a total of $1 million. 

In one year, the Abrams Challenge exceeded its goal, inspiring gifts totaling $1.25 million for endowed scholarships. When COVID-19-related revenue loss required a draw on the endowment in 2020, the Abrams issued a second successful $1 million challenge to meet the unexpected costs in providing a robust, in-person Augustana experience for our students.

Close the Gap awards

Initiated by Julie Hamann ’82 Elliott in 2013, Close the Gap Awards are four-year financial awards for high-ability students who have need that goes beyond assistance available through traditional scholarships, grants and loans. 

Generous donors joined in to support students who needed that little extra help to attend Augustana.

They funded 109 four-year Close the Gap scholarships ($3.7 million in cash and commitments) during the campaign. This award program continues to allow Augustana to do what it does best — recognize and grow a student’s potential, regardless of background or means.  

Endowed scholarships

Endowed scholarships allow Augustana to meet one of its highest priorities — to attract, welcome and support high-achieving students who represent diversity and promise.

Individuals and families established 58 new endowed scholarships ($18.3 million in cash and legacy gifts) during the campaign. Each will support students for generations to come.

Annual scholarships 

Donors funded 44 new annual scholarships with gifts to the Augustana Fund, giving more students access to the Augustana experience and the opportunity to achieve dreams they never imagined.

National Science Foundation grant

Augustana received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. This grant will fund scholarships, training and mentoring support for STEM students with plans to teach science, technology, engineering or mathematics in high-need school districts. Scholarship recipients are encouraged to stay in the Quad Cities to teach after graduation.

Cost savings

To identify cost-saving opportunities, a director of process improvement was hired in 2014 to evaluate and improve processes across campus to increase efficiency. 

In recent years, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Augustana as one of the most efficiently operating national liberal arts colleges.