Gustavus Adolphus College

2014 Quick Stats
800 W. College Avenue

St. Peter, MN 56082

Phone: (507) 933-8000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#76 Overall Score: 60 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Gustavus Adolphus College is a private institution that was founded in 1862. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,524, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 340 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. Gustavus Adolphus College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 76. Its tuition and fees are $39,060 (2013-14).

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Gustavus Adolphus College is a residential, liberal arts college in St. Peter, Minnesota, that prepares 2,550 undergraduate students for lives of leadership, service, and lifelong learning. The oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota, Gustavus was founded in 1862 by Swedish Lutheran immigrants and named for Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. Gustavus Adolphus College is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Throughout its history, it has valued its Lutheran and Swedish heritages.

The Gustavus culture derives from our founding traditions and offers a distinctiveness of feeling and deed on the campus and in the greater world. Students and faculty pursue academic rigor and service in an atmosphere of close-knit relationships, serious work, spirited enjoyment of life, and uncommon mutual support.

At Gustavus, students receive personal attention in small-sized classes and engage in collaborative research with their professors. The College is fully accredited and known for its academic excellence and strong music, science, writing, athletics, study-abroad, and service-learning programs. We maintain a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and are widely admired for our annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference-an event devoted to topics relating to human rights and social justice.

Gustavus is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference. This signature event was launched in 1965 following a gathering on campus of 26 Nobel laureates for the dedication of the Nobel Hall of Science in 1963. The conference brings cutting-edge science issues to the attention of the public, engages world-renowned science speakers, and provides opportunities to explore the moral and societal impact of scientific issues.

Gustavus has always prized community and has been marked by a pervasive sense of concern for every member of the College community. Civility, mutual respect, cooperation, shared governance, and caring have long been hallmarks of the College. Freedom to express a broad range of ideas is central to our sense of community, and resolution of conflicts in the broader society has long been a fundamental concern for us.

Gustavus has a commitment to high quality, even to excellence, in all that we do. In the words of Eric Norelius, founder of the College, "Whatever we do, let us do it well." Given our other values, it should be clear that this commitment to excellence is neither a code word for elitism nor a rejection of the best in Gustavus's heritage. Indeed, our distinctive heritage demands nothing less than excellence.

Gustavus holds the conviction that religious faith enriches and informs learning and is a fundamental notion underpinning our emphasis on community, ethics, and service. While strongly Lutheran in tradition and character, conformity to that specific faith tradition is not expected. In it mission statement, the College does declare an intent to develop in students "a mature understanding of the Christian faith". People of all faiths are welcomed and engaged here.

The Swedish and religious heritage of Gustavus, specifically its Lutheran roots and bonds, have ensured that justice and fairness are primary institutional values. The College strives to be a just community in all of its actions and to educate its students for morally responsible lives. Relations within the College community are guided by high moral principles, and those graduating from Gustavus are expected to understand the full moral implications of their actions.

The College values service as an objective of life and of education. We embrace the notion that true leadership expresses itself in service to others, and affirm the classical ideal of a liberating education, an education that frees one to serve God and humanity to the best of one's ability.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1862
Religious affiliation Lutheran - ELCA
Academic calendar 4-1-4
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $108,252,323


When applying to Gustavus Adolphus College, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling, and the early action deadline is November 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due April 1. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 63.4 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 63.4%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by April 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Gustavus Adolphus College is 12:1, and the school has 53.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Gustavus Adolphus College include: Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Business/Commerce, General; Education, General; Psychology, General; and Speech Communication and Rhetoric. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 92 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 12:1
4-year graduation rate 82%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 14%
Business/Commerce, General 12%
Education, General 8%
Psychology, General 8%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 6%

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Student Life

Gustavus Adolphus College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,524, with a gender distribution of 43.7 percent male students and 56.3 percent female students. At this school, 86 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 14 percent of students live off campus. Gustavus Adolphus College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,524
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Gustavus Adolphus College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Gustavus Adolphus College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Gustavus Adolphus College, 53 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Students who have cars on campus 53%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Gustavus Adolphus College, 72.3 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $24,409.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $39,060 (2013-14)
Room and board $9,050 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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