Continuing its innovations to support students’ education during a pandemic, Concordia has put in place a Cobber Flex Year option. The Flex Year option offers current students and who were enrolled as degree-seeking students in Fall 2021 two tuition-free semesters of study beyond their anticipated graduation date. The Flex Year option allows students whose college experience is affected by the pandemic expanded possibilities to learn – both in class and beyond – in ways they find most compelling.
Students may use the Cobber Flex Year option to complete degree requirements, add an additional major or minor, undertake a PEAK learning experience or research with a faculty member, or take on an internship or service project that is not currently available. They may also have additional time to participate in music ensembles, fine arts, or athletics when tours and competitions have resumed more traditional schedules.
We are impressed with the creativity and resilience Cobbers have shown in this challenging time and want to make sure all students have options for the time they need to get the most out of their Concordia education.
Who is Eligible
Current students who are enrolled as degree-seeking students in the Fall 2021 semester. Cobber Flex Year will begin immediately following the eighth semester of continuous full-time enrollment, regardless of their academic class standing at entry.
Transfer students who are enrolled as a degree-seeking student in the Fall 2021 semester. Cobber Flex Year will begin following their sixth semester of continuous full-time enrollment, regardless of their academic class standing at initial enrollment.
International students are eligible to participate in the Cobber Flex Year under certain circumstances. Prior to participation, international students must meet with staff from Global Learning to discuss their eligibility and immigration requirements.
Throughout the six or eight semesters of continuous enrollment, students must be registered as full-time students (12 credits minimum) in both fall and spring semester to be eligible for the Cobber Flex Year.
Note: On a case-by-case basis, those students who have “stopped out” of their Concordia education in Spring or Fall 2020 due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic will be considered for eligibility to utilize the Cobber Flex Year.
Students must complete and submit an application form to the Registrar’s Office one year prior to using the Cobber Flex Year. This registration process allows college staff and faculty the opportunity to plan for course sections and other academic programming.
The application deadline for those wishing to begin a Flex Year in Fall 2022 is Nov. 3, 2021. Students apply for the Flex Year in their senior year when they are in their seventh consecutive full-time term if they entered as new undergraduates and in their fifth consecutive full-time term if they entered as transfer students.
Application deadlines for each semester are listed in the Registration Dates and Deadlines document. The table below lists the approximate deadlines for when students can apply for the Flex Year based on their expected graduation date:
Students who choose to enroll in the Cobber Flex Year will have their graduation terms delayed until all degree requirements are complete. It will not be possible to graduate from Concordia and then enroll in the Cobber Flex Year.
Commencement participation is determined by graduation date. Students who delay graduation will similarly delay commencement participation.
While tuition will not be charged to students enrolled in the Cobber Flex Year program, students will be responsible for paying student fees which support a variety of important services, courses, and experiences provided to Concordia students.
Students who choose to live on campus and/or have a board plan during a Cobber Flex Year (or semester) are required to pay applicable room and board rates.
Any student who returns to campus for an 11th or additional semester will be responsible to pay standard tuition rates and related fees. Students will also be responsible for applicable room and board costs.
Students are not eligible for Concordia gift aid during their flex year to cover non-tuition expenses. Students who have not completed all of their degree requirements by the start of their flex year are welcome to apply for federal and state financial aid as well as private student loans. Students who have completed all degree requirements for at least one major or degree are ineligible for federal and state grant assistance.
Students may enroll for a maximum of 17 credits per semester in the Cobber Flex Year.
Yes, students may enroll as either a part-time or full-time student in the Cobber Flex Year.
Students seeking to complete an additional major, minor, or certificate during the Cobber Flex Year must work closely with their academic advisors to ensure that all program admission requirements are fulfilled and all courses needed for an additional major will be offered during the Cobber Flex Year the student is considering. Students will not be offered additional flex semesters to complete additional majors, minors, or certificates in the event a certain course is not offered during their Cobber Flex Year.
You will only be approved for the terms needed to complete degree requirements specified in your application (up to two semesters). Additional terms cannot be requested at a later date. If you do not complete requirements by the end of your Flex Term/Year, you will be responsible for payment of tuition and related fees as well as applicable room and board costs.
Depending on admission requirements and course scheduling, it may not be possible for students to complete an additional major of their choice during their Cobber Flex Year.
For students continuing their degree in their flex year, satisfactory academic progress will continue to be monitored per federal and state regulations.
At the time the financial aid office becomes aware that you cannot complete your program within the maximum timeframe, the student immediately becomes ineligible for federal and state aid.
In other words, the student loses financial aid eligibility at the evaluation point and not at the point the student actually reaches the maximum timeframe.
For example, if fall 2021 grades are posted and financial aid determines that a student cannot finish their degree requirements within the maximum timeframe, the student would lose their financial aid eligibility in spring 2022 and for the remainder of their undergraduate program.
There is no maximum timeframe appeal process for students who could have completed their degree requirements but are opting to extend their stay by adding another major or minor.
Grades earned during the Cobber Flex Year will be calculated into a student’s cumulative GPA and recorded on the student’s comprehensive transcript.
Those who started as first-year students at Concordia will be eligible for the Cobber Flex Year after their eighth semester of continuous enrollment regardless of their academic class standing at entry.
Students that enter with PSEO/dual credit from high school are not transfer students. They are students that entered Concordia as new undergraduates and will be eligible for the Cobber Flex Year after their eighth semester of continuous enrollment regardless of their academic class standing.
Those students who started as degree-seeking transfer students at Concordia will be eligible for the Cobber Flex Year after their sixth semester of continuous enrollment regardless of their academic class standing at entry.
It is financially beneficial for students, especially those who begin at Concordia with significant transfer credits and advanced academic standing, to graduate in eight semesters or fewer.
The Cobber Flex Year is offered for on-campus study only. Students are not allowed to participate in study abroad programs during the Cobber Flex Year.
Summer school courses (including May Seminars and Summer School Abroad) are available for enrollment between the end of the eighth semester and the beginning of the Cobber Flex Year, as well as after the flex year. However, students will be charged standard tuition rates and other fees for summer courses.
Institutional financial aid will not be available for summer coursework, but state and federal financial aid may still be available.
The NCAA has approved a blanket waiver allowing student-athletes to compete up to the established dates of competition/contest maximums without being charged a season of intercollegiate participation or a term of attendance for any term during the 2020-21 academic year in which they are eligible for competition.
Institutional, MIAC and NCAA academic eligibility requirements still apply during the Cobber Flex Year and need to be considered when making your decision.
Please talk with Concordia’s athletic compliance officer and your head coach before you decide to enroll in the Cobber Flex Year.
Students participating in the Cobber Flex Year should plan to audition for music ensemble placement at the same time as other returning students. Ensemble conductors should be consulted regarding audition and participation questions.
The Cobber Flex Year is not available to graduate students or those pursuing post baccalaureate or accelerated programs.
Students receiving Tuition Exchange or Tuition Remission are eligible to participate in the Cobber Flex Year.
Students enrolled in a cohort program (e.g., nursing) must complete major requirements with their cohort; they are not eligible to delay completion of the major requirements until the Flex Year, but they can complete other degree requirements in the Flex Year.
The college recognizes it may be financially beneficial for students, especially those who begin at Concordia with significant transfer credits and advanced academic standing, to graduate in eight semesters or fewer.
Concordia will continue to calculate academic standing for degree-seeking students during the Cobber Flex Year.
The Cobber Flex Year has no effect on the four-year guarantee program at Concordia. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for the four-year guarantee will remain eligible for the benefits of the program. If approved, those students who declare their intent to utilize the Cobber Flex Year and delay graduation by one or two semesters are allowed to do so in order to complete their degree.