Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana hosts scholarship competition

Parents chat with students holding up panels with their respective major.
Parents chat with students holding up panels with their respective major.

The chilly Saturday morning of Jan. 14 found the campus absolutely flooded with visiting students and their families. Aside from being a general visit day, this visit also offered the unique opportunity to these prospective students of participating in competitions for scholarships from their departments of interest.
From Accounting to Women and Gender Studies, every department on campus offered a session for the visiting students to compete in. While some departments offered a test or an essay as their contest, some sessions leaned towards being a bit more interactive. Political Science and Pre-Law, for example, had the visiting students participate in a debate, while Geology had students observe and report on the chemical reactions of a trash can full of water and liquid nitrogen.
Aside from being an interesting experience for the students and a good way to become more familiar with the academic aspects of the campus, the scholarship competition also gives out a considerable amount of financial aid. According to Karen Dahlstrom, senior associate director of admissions, the students compete for a $1,000 scholarship that repeats all four years. This is awarded in every department and ends up going to about a third of the students that attend the competition. With assistant director of admissions and special events Beth Ford estimating an attendance of over 400 competing students, this means that the scholarship competition sees the awarding of more than $500,000 in just one day.
“This is one of the most, if not the most, important parts of our recruitment program all year.” Dahlstrom said, “These are students that have applied, been accepted, narrowed down their college list, they’re starting to do return trips to places. They’re ready to make a choice.”
Ford also shared that in past years, around 55 percent of students that had competed in the competition ended up going to Augustana.
Jordan Easton, a student from Chicago, competed in the competition for the Biology and Pre-Health department, in which he completed a standard test. Later in the day, however, Easton also displayed some of his artistic talent in the hopes of getting an art scholarship. For this department, he displayed and discussed some pieces of his art.
As busy a day he had, Easton enjoyed his visit as he shared that, “After today, I’m pretty sure Augustana is my top choice.”
Considering this was his first ever visit to Augustana, it’s clear that scholarship competition day can make quite the impression.
Elsewhere, Anastasia, a high school student from Geneva, Illinois, was also attending and doubling up on scholarship competitions. For the Math and Computer Science department, she took a test as well. Later in the day though, she had an audition for a music scholarship. This was also Anastasia’s first visit to the campus, however, that wasn’t the case for all of the students visiting.
Trevor Noah, a high school student from Naperville, Illinois, shared that the scholarship competition marked his third time on Augustana’s campus. Noah was here competing for an Education department scholarship. For him, this entailed writing an essay on what he thought about the philosophy of teaching.
The experience that visiting students have on their visit to Augustana for the scholarship competition is clearly not only diverse, but convincing. Dahlstrom pointed out that, often, in normal overnights and visits, students don’t always get a clear picture of the academic aspects of the environment here at Augustana. The scholarship competition though, is clearly an effective and enjoyable demonstration tool that gives students a window into just that.

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Augustana hosts scholarship competition