Augustana College on Tuesday launched an innovative financial aid program – Augustana Possible – to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for qualifying newly enrolled students.

“High-achieving students whose expected family contribution doesn’t meet the direct cost of attendance can achieve their dream of a high-caliber education with Augustana Possible,” Executive Vice President W. Kent Barnds said in an Augie release. “This will be a game changer for a segment of students.”

1975 Augustana alum Murry Gerber in April 2022 committed to giving $40 million for student financial aid and scholarships.

Many students who will benefit from Augustana Possible will be the first in their families to attend college. This was the vision of Augustana 1975 graduate Murry Gerber, who this spring made the $40-million commitment to provide financial aid and scholarships to Augustana students with backgrounds similar to his own.

Gerber’s vision has inspired many other donors to bring Augustana Possible to life for future students and alumni. The total student fee for the 2022-23 school year is $59,698, including tuition, housing and meals.

The Augustana College Board of Trustees has enthusiastically endorsed the initiative, which will position Augustana among an elite group of colleges nationwide offering similar financial aid programs, the private school said.

Augustana Possible is the largest and latest effort by the 162-year-old college to address affordability, create access and expand opportunities for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. For the academic year 2021-2022, the college offered more than $60 million in financial aid and scholarships.

Augustana College in Rock Island (with its iconic Old Main) has 2,500 undergraduate students.

“We believe in the potential of this college, and we believe deeply in the incredible potential of today’s students,” said Barnds. “The commitment to meeting 100% of a high-achieving student’s demonstrated financial need allows us to open our doors more fully, and in turn it helps us build an even stronger Augustana.”

To determine financial eligibility for Augustana Promise, students will submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA; available Oct. 1, 2022) or the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, available for some students living in Illinois.

Augustana Possible meets the demonstrated financial need of every eligible student, using available funds from federal, state and college sources. Further details, qualifications and examples can be found at augustana.edu/possible.