Military Activation and Readmission Policy

Gustavus recognizes that some of its students are members of the military including the reserves and ROTC.  These students are subject to active duty call at anytime.  There is no consideration given by the military as to whether the student is two weeks from the end of a term or even one semester away from graduation.  The College’s position is to be as helpful as possible to these students within applicable laws and regulations.

January Term Activation: Students called to duty during a January Term do not face any financial implications.  However, the issue of grading the January course is an issue.  The College will allow the student and the faculty member teaching the course to decide whether a “W” or an “I” is the most appropriate grade.  The College will waive the normal three day drop/add period for January Term under this policy.  A student who plans to return to Gustavus after active duty is expected to do so in the first semester after the end of the active duty period.  For students who elect a grade of “I”, the coursework must be completed by the end of the first semester after the student returns or else the grade will become an “F”.

Regular Semester Activation: Students called to duty during a fall or spring semester face both financial and grading issues.  The student has a choice of two options after consultation with faculty:

Option 1: A student may elect to receive no academic credit for the term.  The student’s transcript would either reflect no attendance if the student left during the drop/add period or all “W’s” if the student left at any other point in the semester.  The College will waive the ten week drop/add period requirement under this policy. 

All tuition and fees charged for the term will be reversed.  A pro-rated credit for unused weeks of room and meal charges will be calculated.  Unlike the standard Gustavus Refund Policy, the meal credit will not be further reduced by a percentage representing actual food costs.  For students not required to be on the standard meal plan but who had elected to place funds into the declining balance account in the MarketPlace, any remaining balance will be held on account to be used by the student upon returning to Gustavus. 

Option 2: A student could, after consulting with faculty, elect to receive “I’s” in all unfinished courses.  The student would be allowed to complete the work under a schedule to be determined by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the faculty, and the Registrar.  In general, a student would be expected to complete the unfinished courses by the end of the first semester available for re-enrollment following the end of the student’s active military duty.  If the unfinished work was not completed in accordance with the terms agreed upon by the student, the grades of “I” would convert to “F’s” per the standard College policy.

Under this option, no tuition or fees credit would be provided since full academic credit is anticipated at some future time.  The applicable room and meal credits would be calculated the same as under the first option.

Financial Aid Issues:  The Director of Financial Aid must complete refund and return calculations for federal and state financial aid sources whenever a student withdraws during a term.

Since the federal regulations regarding an official leave of absence would not apply to all military activations due to varying lengths of duty, the College has chosen not to implement a formalized leave plan to cover cases where a student chooses to accept all “I’s”.  Instead, the College will return the required federal aid amounts (beginning with loans) to comply with regulations and then award additional College grant aid in combination with applicable room and meal credits such that the student’s balance due is unaffected by the withdrawal.  In other words, a student who leaves with grades of “I” who owed the College $500 for tuition before being notified of military activation would still owe the College $500 after the activation.  This presumes the student is going to return to Gustavus to complete the coursework and receive full credit for which full payment is due.  This policy will have a positive impact on the student as there will be more gift aid and less loan indebtedness in all cases where a student had a federal loan.

There are specific guidelines allowing for automatic deferment of federal student loans when a student is called to active duty.  However, private and other alternative loans may or may not have a clause recognizing military activation.  In any event, the College will report to all the student’s lenders that the student is no longer enrolled due to military activation. 

Special Circumstances:  Individual students with special circumstances not covered by this policy may petition for special consideration.  The written appeal should be addressed to the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer.