Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augie Choice now available for sophomores

Jessica Ramirez

Augie Choice, a program that grants students up to $2,000 to use towards internships, study away programs or research, is now available for sophomores. On Monday, April 29, a campus-wide email was sent out by President Talentino informing students that Augie Choice would be available for sophomores to use for the 2024-25 school year. 

This program was previously available only for juniors and seniors by application. However, some sophomores had been able to petition to use Augie Choice earlier. 

President Andrea Talentino helped make the decision to allow sophomores to use their Augie Choice. According to Talentino, having Augie Choice available for sophomores will allow students to have experiences through internship or study abroad programs that could change their educational and future careers earlier. 

“We’re really trying to find ways to get earlier access to the kind of educational experiences that we think are really motivating to students and inspiring to them,” Talentino said. “The experience can make you rethink what you want to do or open up new possibilities of things you want to add into your educational experience.”

Senior Abigail Holtan studied abroad in Sweden during her sophomore year and was unable to use Augie Choice because of her year in school. As she progressed at Augustana, Holtan said she didn’t know how to use her money. 

“Here I am, a senior, and it was kind of like, oh my gosh, how do I use it?” Holtan said.

Holtan said she was able to use her money this year as a senior for an internship at the Swenson Center. Holtan said if Augie Choice had been available to her as a sophomore, she would have used it sooner.

Augie Choice has impacted thousands of students at Augustana. These experiences have shown students various different educational and career paths. Augie Choice opens up a lot of opportunities for students that they might not have been able to experience otherwise.

Senior Maggie Huntley was also unable to use her Augie Choice on a study abroad trip during her sophomore year. Now a senior, Huntley said she was able to utilize the money, but it could have been helpful for students, including herself, to have had access earlier. 

“This would be a great thing for sophomores because it helps them not be held back,” Huntley said. “I was held back my sophomore year from doing other things.”

According to Talentino, Augie Choice will benefit a lot of sophomores in the years to come. 

“A lot of students say that experience [using their Augie Choice] was the thing that made them realize what they wanted to do or helped them choose their next opportunity,” Talentino said. “So we’re excited to really be able to allow students to access that earlier and have that chance to kind of unlock their most inspirational path.”

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