December 2020
Sophie Newcomb

When Sophie Newcomb was a senior in high school she was looking to stay in Minnesota for college. Originally from Moorhead, Newcomb knew she wanted stay nearby.

“I grew up right here in Moorhead and knew that Concordia College had a great reputation for its faculty,” Newcomb said. “I wanted to attend a school where I felt challenged while also feeling comfortable enough to ask professors for guidance. I’ve always intended to go to grad school or law school after graduation, so choosing Concordia was a great decision financially.”

Newcomb is making college work financially work through a number of different sources. She receives an institutional scholarship from Concordia, a Pell Grant, work study and the Minnesota State Grant. Newcomb’s family helps as they can, and she has taken out some loans and tries to work as many work-study hours as possible.

“I’ve received the Minnesota State grant every single year, which has saved my life,” Newcomb said. “It’s a generous amount that I can rely on, and it doesn’t need to be paid back. I truthfully am not sure how I would have attended college if I had not received the Minnesota State Grant.”

Federal and state aid have helped keep Newcomb’s borrowing down, but that doesn’t mean she’s without loans. “Loans are an important part of financial aid, but because I knew I wanted to go on to grad school, I needed to keep down my loan amounts and Concordia has helped me do that.”

Newcomb is a senior communications major who is also the student body president at Concordia. Before COVID-19 changed things, she sang in the Concordia Chapel Choir and was a member of Students and Alumni Link Together, an organization connecting students with Concordia graduates.

COVID-19 has changed much of her senior year, which feels and looks a lot different than she had imagined. “We have missed out on a lot — our last homecoming, family weekend and our last year with our friends. I really miss being able to connect with my peers and professors in person,” Newcomb said. “But we are so lucky to go to Concordia where we have such a tight community. This has allowed us to push through this really hard time.”

She’s committed to not letting COVID get her down and says her professors and advisors have been critical. “Before the pandemic my professors were amazing, but they have gone the extra mile this year. Our communication and connections have gotten better during COVID rather than getting worse. And I think this is a strength of a small college like Concordia.”

By Tom Lancaster

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