Dear President Paul Pribbenow,
Augsburg University has a hold on my transcript and degree. And all I can say now is, you can keep it.
You can keep my degree and hold my transcripts forever. I am not asking you to help me anymore, because you have not. I am asking you to change. Please do better for the innocent and unknowing students who attend your university.
I gave Augsburg University everything I had and you took it. And you continue to take from me. I can’t afford it. And it’s disturbing. Not only do I have an inordinate amount of student loan debt, the student account balance I owe you cannot be consolidated. As a result, it is now negatively affecting my credit and employability. An expensive education has left me with crippling debt, and meanwhile the university has not helped me secure a career that would allow me to begin to pay it back.
Look at your school track and field record board. I rewrote it. My name is on the mile through the 10k. I earned the Elite 89 award, which is granted to the athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA tournament. I earned All-American honors multiple times and received your female athlete of the year award. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I earned Departmental Honors in Communication Studies. I’m not sharing any of my honors to brag, I’m sharing them to demonstrate the dichotomy. If this happened to me, it is happening to anyone at your university. While I was earning Augsburg positive attention through academic and athletic achievements, I was going hungry. I didn’t know whether I would be able to finish my degree, because there was no funding for my books and other necessities. Not only was I training and competing, but I was working a work-study job for near-minimum wage. After I graduated, I could not find a job no matter what I tried. I asked you for help with job connections or internships, but you offered none. I finally entered a retail position in desperation. Pure hunger and fear. I spent time homeless, because I couldn’t secure employment.
I’m done asking you for help. I’m asking you to change.
I’m sharing my story with whomever will listen with the hope that no one else will have to endure the needless pain I suffered during school and after graduating. If people ask me what I think of Augsburg University, I tell them what I am stating in this letter. This is a problem and I cannot remain quiet while I watch innocent others get set up for the same suffering.
I know I am not alone. My fellow graduates tell me they went into debt rather than gaining opportunities.
Augsburg University has a serious problem if their highest achieving and most well respected students are underemployed.
This is my sincere plea that you stop misleading innocent people into believing their financial investment at your university will secure them a better financial future. I ask that you acknowledge what you can do personally to help these young, vulnerable students. And I ask that you do it.