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Frequently Asked Questions

Oren Gateway Center residence hall

How does the StepUP Program differ from a treatment program or halfway house?

The StepUP Program is not a treatment program but a recovery-based support program that provides structure for the students enrolled. The StepUP Program requires that each student attend classes regularly, be responsible for attending mandatory meetings, and most importantly, refraining from using drugs or alcohol. Unlike treatment, however, there is no curfew and there is little monitoring of students’ daily activities. The program is designed to give students a full, enriched collegiate experience.

What specific services are provided to students enrolled in the StepUP Program?

  • Housing in the substance-free residence hall located in the Oren Gateway Center.
  • Weekly meetings with alcohol and drug counselors in the StepUP Program. These meetings are designed to monitor and enhance a student’s recovery protection plan, academic success, and community living issues.
  • Access to a variety of on-campus support services.

StepUP students and staff standing in a circle togetherWho is in the StepUP Program?

The StepUP Program is for young adults, ages 17-26, in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction who wish to pursue an undergraduate education. In order to enter the program, students typically must have at least 6 months of continuous sobriety.

What do I need to apply to the StepUP Program?

  • Typically six months of continuous sobriety by the date on which the student moves into StepUP housing.
  • A commitment to an abstinence-based recovery program.
  • An interview with a StepUP Program counselor.
  • A completed StepUP Program recommendation form from a recent treatment counselor, after-care counselor or therapist.

Click here for details on the application process and forms.

What is Augsburg’s admissions philosophy?

In the admissions process, Augsburg seeks the academically well-prepared student with strong high school grades and test scores.  However, the admissions staff at Augsburg also looks at the total picture, such as student circumstances. Augsburg is best suited for the well-rounded individual who has an inquiring mind and the motivation to learn.

Five StepUP studentsWhat are the costs for students in the StepUP Program?

Students in the StepUP Program are responsible for the same tuition, activity fees, room and board costs required of all students. Students in the StepUP Program are eligible for the same need and merit-based financial aid available to all students at Augsburg University.  There is no additional cost for the StepUP Program services.


Once a student is accepted into the StepUP Program, are they required to remain in the program and college housing until graduation?

The StepUP Program does not require that students remain in the program until graduation. Many students indicate they want to stay in the program until they graduate, while other students have chosen to participate in the program for one or two years and then live elsewhere as they finish their degrees.

How many students are in the StepUP Program?

The program can currently accommodate up to 100 students and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Approximately 300 StepUP Program alumni remain in close contact with the StepUP Program.

Ten StepUP graduates from 2010 posing in their caps and gownsHas the StepUP Program been successful?

The StepUP Program has been successful in supporting its students in their academic studies and in their recovery.  The current mean cumulative grade-point average of the StepUP students is 3.2 and the cumulative abstinence rate is 92%.

When and how did the StepUP Program begin?

The program began in September of 1997 with 23 students enrolled.  A significant number of students in recovery were enrolling at Augsburg University and seeking academic skills counseling.  Realizing that Augsburg had no chemical-free living environment or formal support program for students in recovery, a proposal was created for the StepUP Program.  The proposal was approved by the President’s Council and the StepUP Program began.

Do Augsburg’s administration, faculty, and staff support the StepUP Program?

The President’s Cabinet and Dean of the University offer solid support, encouragement, and counsel to the StepUP Program.  Professors often comment on the positive qualities students in StepUP bring to their classrooms, such as honesty and a desire to learn.  The Department of Residence Life and the StepUP Program collaborate to provide safe, comfortable housing, as well as leadership opportunities for StepUP students.

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