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What Does it Cost to Attend Gustavus Adolphus College?

Founded in 1862 by Swedish Lutheran immigrants, Gustavus Adolphus College is named for Swedish King Gustav Adolf II. The college’s prestige doesn’t just stop at its well-reputed namesake. Known for its internationally recognized Nobel Conference, which has brought 100 Nobel Laureates to campus throughout the school’s history, and its ranking as U.S. News and World Report’s 92nd Best National Liberal Arts College, Gustavus Adolphus College attracts many talented students each year.


Respected internationally and domestically, it’s easy to see why so many spiritual students are interested in attending Gustavus Adolphus College and becoming Gusties. If Gustavus is on your student’s college list, keep reading to get a clear idea of what it will cost to attend, gain an understanding of some of the peripheral costs of college, and learn a few tips for reducing the overall expense of Gustavus Adolphus College, or any other institution for that matter.

College Costs Are Highly Variable

In addition to placing 92nd in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, the Gustavus Adolphus also ranked 42nd in the publication’s assessment of Best Value Schools–National Liberal Arts Colleges. If you’re wondering how a school with an annual list price of over $50,000 is considered a “best value,” the answer is simple: most students do not end up paying this list price for college. List price, is the cost of tuition, room, and board at an institution and is also sometimes referred to as “the cost of admission.”


The cost of college is highly variable with a variety of factors that affect what a student will pay for school—and the list price of an institution doesn’t account for any of them. When trying to assess what college will really cost a student, net cost is the preferred metric. Net cost calculates the amount of federal, state, and local government aid given to a student, along with institutional aid and merit aid awarded, and deducts them from an institution’s list price to provide a number that accurately reflects what a student can plan on paying out of pocket for college.

What is the List Price at Gustavus Adolphus College?

The list price of Gustavus Adolphus College in 2016-2017 was $54,280—because it’s a private college, the list price is the same for both in- and out-of-state students.


If the list price of Gustavus seems out of your budget, remember that the majority of students do not pay full price. Students who do end up paying the full cost of attendance are typically outside of the top third of admitted students academically and come from affluent families with annual incomes of more than $175,000.

What is the Gustavus Adolphus College Financial Aid Net Price?

Financial aid net price deducts the amount of need-based financial aid a student receives from the list price of a college. The average net cost with financial aid of Gustavus is $45,870. Once again, because it’s a private institution, this average is the same for both in- and out-of-state Gusties.

What is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending Gustavus Adolphus College?

The financial status of a student’s family plays a large role in determining how much financial aid they receive, and ultimately how much college will cost. Below are average costs based on family income:


Family Income Average Net Price
Below $30,000 $12,707
$30,001-$48,000 $14,040
$48,001-$75,000 $15,979
$75,001-$110,000 $25,476
$110,000+ $27,946

How Much Merit Aid Do Gustavus Adolphus College Students Receive?

Merit aid, or non-need-based aid, is awarded to students with impressive academic records and other accomplishments and provides another way for Gusties to reduce the cost of attendance. Almost all Gusties (97.5%) without financial need receive merit aid, with the average award totaling $22,704. This brings the cost of Gustavus for students who don’t qualify for financial aid to $31,576.


Thanks to the size and sheer numbers of merit awards granted at Gustavus Adolphus College, it ranks 18th out of a CollegeVine survey of more than 1,000 colleges and universities for merit aid generosity.

How Many Gustavus Adolphus College Students Take Out Loans?

Even with the college’s generous merit aid policy, many Gusties will still need to take out loans to help pay for college. 49% of undergraduates at Gustavus Adolphus College borrow, taking out an average of $5,525 in federal student loans.

Student Outcomes at Gustavus Adolphus College

Student outcomes offer insight into how a family’s investment in an institution will pay off. 79% of Gusties graduate within six years, which is ahead of the national average 66% for private, non-profit colleges.

The average salary for Gustavus alumni ten years after graduation is $51,700—greater than the $46,800 national average salary of full-time workers, but less than the $62,092 average salary in nearby Minneapolis.

Local Area Cost Considerations

St. Peter, Minnesota, home of Gustavus Adolphus College, is slightly less expensive to live in the average U.S. town or city. St. Peter has a cost of living index of 95.5, making it 4.5% more affordable than the national average.


Gustavus Adolphus College requires all Gusties (with only a few exceptions, which can be found here) to live on campus. First-year Gusties are housed in halls while upperclassman have a variety of housing options ranging from halls to apartments and townhomes. Information about the costs of different styles of on-campus housing can be found on the Residence Halls & Housing Rates page of the school’s website.


For students who want to work while attending Gustavus, Minnesota has a minimum wage of $9.86 which is $2.61 higher than the federal minimum wage. In addition to jobs found in town, students who don’t qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program are welcome to apply for any unfilled campus jobs when they arrive in the fall.

Other Ways to Save Money on College

Scholarships represent a fantastic chance for students to minimize the cost of college and, as mentioned earlier, Gustavus Adolphus College is very generous when it comes to merit-based awards. The majority of admitted students are automatically considered for merit-based awards such as the Dean’s Scholarship and President’s Scholarship.


There are also numerous talent-based awards available to Gusties that will require a student to take additional steps to be considered. The Jussi Bjorling Music Scholarship supports students pursuing music at the college while the Evelyn Anderson Theatre and Dance Scholarship is for talented students pursuing dance and theatre at Gustavus.


Helping cement the college’s commitment to students of faith is its Religious and Faith Community Matching Scholarships, through which Gustavus will match (up to $1,000) any scholarship funds awarded by a student’s religious and faith community—regardless of religion.

Another program that students should investigate is the National Merit Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship is given to students who score in the top 1% on the PSAT and is awarded to roughly 7,500 students annually. National Merit Scholarship winners who designate Gustavus as their first-choice college will also receive a renewable scholarship of $7,500 from the institution and be considered for the school’s larger and most distinguished awards. Find out more about this program by reading our article How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.