Gustavus Ninth-Semester Tuition-Free Guarantee

The College announces a tuition-free ninth semester option for eligible students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted on September 1st, 2020 by

Small class sizes, hands-on learning, and discussion-based courses are hallmarks of the liberal arts education at Gustavus Adolphus College. Equally important to Gusties are the connections they make on campus—connections nurtured by the warm, welcoming, close-knit atmosphere that results from our 24/7 learning and living experience.

We know that the 2020-2021 academic year will look different as the College continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and take necessary steps to help ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. The Gustavus experience has pivoted to a mix of hybrid, online, and in-person courses; new residential living practices; and changes to co-curricular activities. These temporary changes, while necessary to help support the wellbeing of our community, may also impact the academic progress of students who deeply value hands-on learning, involvement in student organizations, and participation in activities such as fine arts and athletics.

In recognition of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on students, Gustavus is offering a tuition-free ninth semester to those who need an extra term to complete their degree requirements. Open to students who are enrolled full-time at Gustavus throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the program allows students additional flexibility in managing their course schedule and the opportunity to complete degree requirements on campus following their eighth semester.

Please see the information below to learn more about the Gustavus Ninth-Semester Tuition-Free Guarantee.


To be eligible for the Gustavus Ninth-Semester Tuition-Free Guarantee, students must:

  • Be a first-year, transfer, or returning student who is enrolled full-time at Gustavus throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. (Full-time enrollment at Gustavus means students complete at least 3.0 credits in each of the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters.) However, please note that Minnesota State Grant recipients need to enroll in 3.75 courses to retain full funding. Please direct your questions to the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Complete their eighth semester of undergraduate education at Gustavus while enrolled as a full-time student (at least 3.0 credits).
  • Hold a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above.
  • Not be suspended for any academic or disciplinary reason throughout their time at Gustavus.
  • Complete the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester in the academic year directly following the completion of their eighth semester of undergraduate education. Students whose eighth semester is a fall semester may complete their ninth semester in the spring of the same academic year.

Additional Guidelines

  • During the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester, students are only eligible to enroll in courses required for undergraduate degree completion unless special approval is granted.
  • Students must complete the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester on campus. (Study away programs, off-campus internships, and other off-campus experiential learning opportunities that are not required for undergraduate degree completion may be completed in earlier semesters but are not available during the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester.)
  • Students have the option of completing their ninth-semester degree-completion courses during either the fall or spring semester.


  • Students interested in the program must discuss graduation requirements and degree progress with their academic advisor.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester courses are courses that are required for degree completion.

Financial Aid and Cost Information

  • Gustavus will be covering the full cost of tuition for the courses needed to complete an undergraduate degree in the ninth semester, minus any other federal, state or institutional grant/scholarships the student qualifies for that semester.
  • Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for their ninth semester.
  • Any fees, room and board charges, or other costs incurred will be charged directly to the student at the standard rates. (Note: On-campus residence is not a requirement.)
  • Federal loan eligibility requires part-time attendance. Please note, federal student loan programs have aggregate loan limits. Consult with the Office of Financial Aid to determine your eligibility.

Athletic Eligibility

  • Student-athletes may take advantage of the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester but need to pay special attention to NCAA regulations and athletic eligibility requirements. The NCAA Division III manual outlines policies regarding student-athlete eligibility.
  • Gustavus student-athletes considering the Tuition-Free Ninth Semester should contact their coach or the Director of Athletics to discuss eligibility.
  • Spring semester athletes may utilize the Tuition-Fee Ninth Semester to compete in their fifth year, but additional eligibility requirements may need to be met.


  • Please direct any questions about the Gustavus Ninth-Semester Tuition-Free Guarantee to the Provost’s Office at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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