Augustana’s plan to grow through changes in higher education

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In 2015, Augustana announced a name change to Augustana University. Then last year it announced a campaign to move to NCAA Division 1 sports.

Now Augusta is announcing another list of big goals for the next decade, including plans to raise $175 million.

“The Viking bold campaign is the largest most comprehensive campaign in the university’s history, but it’s necessary because we’re at a pivotal moment in the history of Augustana, both with our strengths and opportunities, but also the changes in higher education,” Augustana Unviersity President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said.

The Sioux Falls university’s new 10-year strategic plan is designed to help navigate some big demographic changes coming in the next generation of college students.

“There are fewer high school graduates projected throughout the next decade as a result of the great recession and decisions families were making at that time,” Sandlin said.

It means more competition for universities to recruit students; its why Augustana is looking to make such a major investment.

“We are looking to invest in our physical campus and our digital infrastructure so that we have the types of living and learning spaces that are ideal for the types of new learning environments that Generation Z and future generations will expect,” Herseth Sandlin said.

Another big part of the $175 million plan will go toward making Augustana University accessible to more students.

“Our new campaign in Viking bold will include a real commitment to more scholarships,” Herseth Sandlin said. “As a private university we’ve always had generous donors that have helped students and their families cover that gap after federal, state aid, what Augustana can provide and what their families have saved.”

All of it adding up to a big fundraising campaign including alumni, community and business partners who want to see Augustana succeed through the next decade of changes in higher education.

“Augustana is looking to seek investment so we can demonstrate that we can navigate through this disruption, that we can serve the needs of the future,” Herseth Sandlin said.

The campaign’s ultimate goal is to increase enrollment from its current 2,100 students to a total of 3,000 students in Augustana’s Undergrad and Masters programs.

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