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COVID-19 Admission Questions

Although much in the world has changed over the course of the year, one thing remains consistent at Saint Louis University: We are excited for you to be a Billiken.

We know you might have a lot of questions about studying at SLU, especially if it will be your first year of college. We've provided answers to questions we're hearing frequently below. If your question is not addressed, please contact us at admissions-madrid@slu.edu and visit our admissions and admitted student pages for more information.

General Questions

What preparations does SLU-Madrid have in place for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 sessions?

SLU-Madrid has remained open during the 2020-21 school term, thanks to the collaboration of our entire campus community to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus. Students have been able to safely return to in-person classes, attend classes online or combine both modalities; going forward, we will continue to provide guidance to study abroad and permanent students as they prepare for their studies in Madrid.

Read more about our efforts and stay current on SLU-Madrid's campus preparation for the Summer and Fall 2021 sessions

Will I need to present a negative COVID-19 test before traveling to Spain?

On November 11, the Spanish government announced additional measures to combat the COVID-19 epidemic that will affect our community. Beginning Nov. 23, and lasting indefinitely, international travelers from high-risk countries must present a negative PCR test (RT-PCR of COVID-19) or Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) test, taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain.

At any point on your journey to Spain, authorities may ask to see the results of the test; results must be written in English, Spanish, French or German and may be presented in electronic or paper form. The document will contain, at least, the following information: traveler's name, passport or ID number, date of the test, identification and contact details of the center that performed the analysis, technique used and negative test result. Should your results be in any language other than the aforementioned, you must present an official translation with the original document.

As you make your travel plans, please visit the Spain Travel Health website to ensure that you have your travel documents in place. You can also read the new stipulations in the Spanish Official Gazette, published on December 10, 2020.

According to the new EU travel restrictions, I am unable to travel to Spain. What should I do?

We understand that the EU-wide travel restrictions, announced on June 30, 2020 and effective July 1, may cause a disruption in your plans. The royal decree, available in Spanish, states that travelers in possession of a valid student visa will be able to enter Spain, provided they are free of symptoms.

This means that students who do not possess an EU passport must obtain a student visa and may not travel on a visa waiver; those whose habitual residency is in a country that does not have a travel restriction should get a student visa whenever possible.

We are monitoring this situation closely and will email students with any major changes.

Is the Madrid Campus open? Can I visit campus?

Yes, campus is open and we are conducting classes for our students both in-person and online as part of our HyFlex model. If you're a prospective student, let's connect virtually! We've updated resources on our Virtual Visit page, and we have frequent information sessions in both English and Spanish so that you can learn more about us. Follow and interact with us on social media (@slumadrid on Instagram) to find out about our community and life on campus.

If in-person classes cannot be conducted in the spring as planned, what is SLU-Madrid's contingency plan?

SLU-Madrid successfully implemented a HyFlex fall semester that included both online components, held at the beginning and end of the semester, as well as in-person classes. If local authorities prohibit in-person classes, we will conduct classes online.

We are developing a similar plan for the Spring 2021 semester, and we have pushed back the start date for classes to accommodate travel decisions.

Can I defer my admission until next semester?

Yes. You can defer your admission and merit scholarship (if applicable) for up to one full academic year. Please email the Office of Admissions if you choose to do so. 

Can I get a refund on my fees and tuition paid if I am incapacitated due to COVID-19 illness or travel restrictions in Spain or my home country? 

Yes. See the tuition reimbursement schedule found on our Tuition and Fees page under Class Refund Policy. SLU-Madrid can also defer your confirmation fee and housing fees to a future semester or process a refund.

If in-person classes cannot be conducted in the spring as planned, what is SLU-Madrid's contingency plan?

SLU-Madrid successfully implemented a HyFlex fall semester that included both online components, held at the beginning and end of the semester, as well as in-person classes.

A similar plan is in place for the Spring 2021 semester. If local authorities prohibit in-person classes, we will conduct classes online. 

Are you still accepting applications for the Spring 2021 semester?

Unfortunately, no, but we encourage you to submit an application for Fall 2021! You'll find us on Common Application, or you can choose to apply  through our SLU application. 

I will be a minor when the Fall 2021 semester begins. Will I need to get a visa or complete additional paperwork? 

Traveling to Spain as a minor depends on two factors: your nationality and when you turn 18.

The most complete information is available on our Visas for Spain page. 


First-year and transfer applicants for Spring and Fall 2021

Are you still accepting applications for the Spring 2021 semester? 

Yes. Applications continue to be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis for Spring 2021. The deadline for non-EU passport holders who will need a student visa is October 1; students who possess an EU passport may apply until December 1.

Applications for Fall 2021 are now open! You'll find us on Common Application, or you can choose to apply  through our SLU application.

What will you use to determine admission if I don't have grades for my last semester in high school?

Admission decisions can be made with the coursework and grades provided on a seven-semester transcript. Final transcripts are due prior to registration for the second semester at SLU. 

Standardized tests and/or university readiness exams in my country have been postponed or canceled altogether. What will you review to make an admission decision?

For  Spring 2021 applicants, we will review academic performance of the last three to four years (equivalent to grades 9-12 in the American system) without the university readiness exams/standardized test scores if they are unavailable because of cancellations due to COVID-19. As admission decisions are holistic, we will also review your essay, letters of recommendation and any other supporting documents.

Please note that SLU-Madrid is test-optional for applicants from Fall 2021 and beyond. We want you to focus on the contributions you can make to campus, not how well you tested on an exam. We will use the academic performance average of grades 9-12 (or local equivalent) to make merit scholarship decisions.   

Will there be any changes to the requirements to receive transfer credits for AP or IB exams?

No. We will honor AP/IB scores as they have amended their policies due to COVID-19. You can reference our AP/IB credits transfer page to see what credits will be awarded by score.  

My last semester high school dual credit courses were online. Will they still count for college credit? 

Yes, as long as they appear on an official transcript from the high school or college. 

My school has closed. How can I submit official documentation, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation or proof of graduation? 

Generally secondary schools can submit documentation through a digital document system like Parchment. If electronic submission is impossible, we will accept electronic documents directly from a school official, such as a college/career counselor. 

Does SLU-Madrid accept Duolingo for English Language Proficiency requirements? 

Yes. We have expanded admission criteria to allow the review of Duolingo scores for all points of entry (Academic English, 1-Semester Bridge Program and direct entry). Students must achieve a composite score of at least 80 for entry into the Academic English Program, at least 100 for the 1-Semester Bridge Program and at least 120 for direct entry to degree programs.


Admitted first-year and transfer students

My GPA went down in my last semester because I didn't do as well in online classes. Will that affect my admission and scholarship? 

No. We recognize the significant stresses of this semester, and changes in your GPA after admission to the University will be evaluated in light of the COVID-19 situation.  

I have U.S. federal financial aid that stipulates I must be enrolled as a full-time student. Will the HyFlex semester model affect my federal aid?

No, it will not affect your aid. The semester will last a full 16 weeks so that the recipients of any federal aid will be able to receive those benefits. If you have additional questions about your specific case, please email financialaid-madrid@slu.edu

If I defer, can I keep my scholarship?

Yes, your scholarship would move to the deferred semester. If you were to take more than 24 university credits at another institution before coming to SLU, your application for admission would be re-reviewed as a transfer applicant, and you would be considered for transfer scholarships.

Will there be any changes to the financial aid packages?

We recognize that the current public health crisis may bring unexpected financial hardships to students and their families, and we are committed to supporting students during this challenging time. We encourage students facing financial hardships to contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid-madrid@slu.edu.

If I defer one or two semesters, can I take classes online or with another institution and transfer in credits?

If you take classes at an accredited institution in the American university system, we can generally review courses for transfer credits. We can assist in identifying the courses you should take to ensure that they would transfer. If you take more than 24 credits at the university level (after graduating from high school), we will review your application again as a transfer student. 

I need a visa to travel to Spain. Will SLU-Madrid provide the necessary paperwork? What will I do if my consulate will not reopen before September?

SLU-Madrid provides visa documentation that includes an official letter of invitation and an official document stating specifics of the program of study. Students who do not hold a European Union or U.S. passport will need to make payment for one full semester's tuition for SLU-Madrid to issue your student visa documentation; this includes non-U.S. and non-European students who are online-only and would like to come for face-to-face instruction the following semester. If your consulate is not open or processing student visas, we suggest deferring your enrollment by a semester.

I will be a minor when the in-person session begins in January. Will I need to get a visa or complete additional paperwork?

Traveling to Spain as a minor depends on two factors: your nationality and when you turn 18.

The most complete information is available on our Visas for Spain page. 

I live near SLU's main campus in St. Louis (Missouri, USA). Can I start classes at the main campus?

We want you to be a Billiken. Starting at the University's main campus in St. Louis, Missouri, and joining us next semester is a great option.  If you live near St. Louis, write to admissions-madrid@slu.edu so that we can explore this possibility with you.