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The first "F" in FAFSA stands for free

finaidCan you get free money for college? Only if you apply.

April 15 is the priority deadline to apply for financial aid at Augsburg. All Day College students must submit their application to the Enrollment Center by this date or risk losing some of the aid that may be available to them.

Junior social work major Karen Thorp has already applied for next year. While some students’ families are able to assist them with tuition and fees, Thorp has paid for college herself with the help of financial aid.

As a high school senior, Thorp wanted to attend Augsburg because of the small campus and its connection with the city, but her mother said, “That’s out of your price range.” After she met with a financial aid counselor, Thorp knew her dream of attending Augsburg could be a reality. 

Thorp’s financial aid package includes federal loans and state grants as well as the Augsburg tuition grant — “free” money she does not have to pay back. She says she could have gone to a state school and graduated without loan debt, but the aid she received helped make an Augsburg education affordable. “If it wasn’t for the Augsburg tuition grant, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Thorp has continued to meet with financial aid counselor, Liz Bassani, throughout her Augsburg career. “Liz does care,” she says. “We chat at least two times a semester to make sure I’m on track. It motivates me to know I have someone behind me to help me through it.”

Why does Augsburg enforce a priority deadline? Eric Addington, associate director of financial aid, says, “Augsburg runs a lean ship in terms of financial aid.” The college and the state of Minnesota have limited funds, which are awarded to students who demonstrate need and who apply early. “Augsburg has a very limited amount of money to spend on financial aid, and the deadline assures we are equitable with our resources,” he adds.

According to Addington, 85% of all Augsburg students receive some type of financial aid, including institutional grants and scholarships, state grants, and federal or private loans.

Bassani encourages students to come to the Enrollment Center to ask questions about applying for aid. She says, “Students shouldn’t be scared or intimidated by the financial aid counselors. We want to see them succeed.”

Complete instructions and forms are available at

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