The Distinguished Scholars Competition Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What should I wear?

As a former participant said, “dress nice, but be comfortable.” Keep in mind that you will be interviewing with a faculty committee and will be interacting with College staff and students. We rarely see jeans. It is not unusual to see jackets or ties.

Should I bring my parents/guardians?

Yes, if at all possible. In addition to the writing exercise and interview, we have planned activities that will involve various Augustana faculty, students, and staff who will share information about the College’s academic and student life programs. Parents/guardians will find this time especially interesting and helpful.

When should we arrive and where should we park?

Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. in the Fantle Building, the Center for Western Studies. There will be plenty of parking available in the Madsen Center lot, located just off Summit Avenue (see the map). We’ll have coffee available as you check in. Shortly before 9:00 a.m., we will open the day with a worship service that will feature the Augustana Choir and the Augustana Brass Choir.

How many students are participating this year?

We expect 110 scholars each Sunday.

What is the purpose of the Faculty/Student Presentation?

This year’s presentation is intended to bring the purpose and meaning of the Augustana experience to life for you and your parents. Our presenters will share how Augustana College might inspire you to find your passion in life and reach your full potential.

What about the essay and interview: when will I do them, what will I write about, and what will I be asked?

We will provide you with the times and locations when you register. Keep in mind that the date on which we received your scholarship application is considered when scheduling your interview. At the appointed time to write your short essay, you will be given 30 minutes to address a given topic. You will be able to write your essay on one of the computers in our computer lab. Our word processing system is Microsoft Word. Your faculty interview committee will read your application essay prior to the Competition and the one you write on-site after the event.

A three-member team will conduct your interview. This session is designed for the committee to get to know you, to learn about your goals and ambitions and to discover how you will contribute to the academic environment here.

Is there some way I can prepare for the interview?

Just be you. Your interview committee wants to get to know you; this is your opportunity to learn something about college professors, as well. It is meant to be an enjoyable interchange of ideas and issues.

Will I have an opportunity to tour the campus?

Tours will be offered at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

When can we leave for home?

After you have interviewed and have written your essay, be sure to check out at the main registration table. If you have any questions, be sure you are satisfied with the answers before you leave.

How many scholarships will be awarded?

We will award two Niebuhr Scholarships (full tuition). The Niebuhr Scholarships will be funded by an endowment established through an estate gift from the late Dick Niebuhr '66, who served on Augustana's Board of Trustees. Mr. Niebuhr's gift further demonstrates the commitment of the Board of Trustees and our alumni to attract the best and brightest students to Augustana. Additional scholarship levels include the Trustees with Distinction, which will increase the recipient's initial award by $12,000 ($3,000 per year), Trustees Honors, which provides $8,000 more ($2,000 per year), and the Trustees Scholarship, which will provide an increase of $4,000 ($1,000 per year). All students will be awarded at one of these levels and all of the scholarships mentioned will replace the previously awarded Presidential Scholarship. In addition, we will be awarding twenty travel stipends for an international travel experience during spring break of the freshman year. The location will be announced the morning of the competition.

When will I know the results of the Competition?

Scholarship notifications will be released during the week of March 17, 2014.