February, 2018

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As Jacob Hanson, a junior at Concordia College, thought about the next steps after high school he knew he wanted to go to a private college. Hanson grew up in Blaine and took PSEO courses at the University of Minnesota. That’s when he realized he wanted to find a college that offered smaller class sizes. “I really wanted a community where I could get to know my professors,” said Hanson, “After visiting Concordia College and hearing about its pre-med program, I knew it was the right fit for me.”

When he was applying to colleges and searching for the one that was the right fit, he was also concerned about how to keep it affordable. “Cost was certainly an important factor, but I didn’t want that to hold me back from the right opportunity,” Hanson said.

Concordia’s financial aid package for his first two years included Minnesota State Grants, academic scholarships, work study and a pair of student loans. He also diligently applied for outside support and received a four-year Wallin Scholarship. And since he chose Concordia, another helpful piece of financial support fell into place: “Going into junior year I learned that I was awarded a scholarship funded by alumni,” Hanson said. “This has been a big weight off of my shoulders.”

Hanson has taken full advantage of his choice to go to a college with a tight-knit community. He is a double major in psychology and neuroscience with a focus on pre-med, but student government is his passion. He’s on the student Senate and is in the midst of a student body president campaign. Plus he is co-chair of the Minnesota Association for Private College Students — an organization focused on addressing student issues across the state. As if that's not enough to keep him busy, he also plays violin in the campus symphony and works at Prairie St. Johns mental health facility, a hospital designed to help those suffering with behavioral health and substance use disorders.

“College is the biggest achievement of my life, and I’d encourage everyone to reach out to colleges and find out how they can help you afford it,” he said. “There are so many options out there to help students with the cost of college — take advantage of them.”

By Tom Lancaster
 

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