Wartburg College President Darrel Colson announced on July 28, 2020 that all undergraduate students enrolled full-time during the 2020-21 school year will be eligible for a fifth year at the college tuition free. The offer was extended to ensure all current undergraduate students impacted by the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic could get the full Wartburg experience, which extends beyond the academic programs to include co-curriculars like student government, student media, music ensembles and intercollegiate athletics. Since the announcement, there have been some questions about this generous offer. If you have additional questions please reach out to or

When is the soonest I can take my tuition-free fifth year?
Implementation will begin in Fall Term 2021. Summer 2021 courses are not included in this benefit. 

Does this benefit cover room, board, or other fees?
No. For details on current room, board, and fees, visit this website. Realize these fees are subject to change before the fifth-year benefit would begin.

Who is eligible for the tuition-free fifth year?
Students enrolled full time during the 2020-21 academic year are eligible for this benefit when they extend their graduation date and enroll in a fifth year as a degree-seeing student at Wartburg.

I am an international student. Am I eligible?
Unfortunately, SEVIS does not allow student visas beyond the eighth semester.

How is a fifth year defined?
A fifth year would be an additional year (or term) beyond the eight terms (Fall and Winter/May) that extends the four-year expected graduation date for a degree-seeking student. To be cleared for a tuition-free fifth year, a student must be enrolled in all remaining degree requirements with an expected graduation date at the end of that year or term.

Will I qualify for federal financial aid if I use this benefit?
You will only qualify for federal financial aid if you have at least one remaining graduation requirement in each of the terms which you are seeking federal aid.

Do I have to enroll for a full fifth year to take advantage of this benefit?

Can I enroll in just the Winter or May terms of the fifth year?
Yes. May Term travel course fees will not be waived through this benefit. If your May Term course enrollment is contingent on a pre-requisite, you may still be responsible for those courses. Please check with the instructor.

Do I have to live on campus during the fifth year?
Yes. Wartburg is a residential campus; however, students may request a waiver through the normal Residential Life process. 

Do I have to enroll full-time during the fifth year?

If I am enrolled part time in the fifth year, do I have to live on campus?

I am a student-athlete. Can I take advantage of this benefit?
Student-athletes are welcome to use the tuition-free fifth year benefit. Please contact Kelley Jacobs or Rick Willis to determine if you are eligible for a fifth year of athletic competition. 

Are transfer students eligible?
Yes. Under normal circumstances, Wartburg allows transfer students to receive financial aid for a maximum of eight terms, counting the transfer institution and Wartburg terms. Given that we are offering a fifth year, we will extend the tuition-free fiifth year offer up to a maximum of 10 terms. (A transfer student is defined as a student who matriculates at Wartburg with three or more course credits earned at another accredited college or university following high school graduation.)

Are tuition remission/exchange students eligible?
Yes, tuition remission/exchange will be eligible for the extension of this tuition benefit for a fifth year.

Can I use this benefit as part of a cooperative undergraduate and graduate degree program?
Each program is different. Please contact Rick Willis, vice president for student recruitment, to determine eligibility.

Can I enroll in the college’s Master of Music Therapy or Leadership Certificate program during my fifth year?
The fifth-year benefit is focused on creating an opportunity for students to capture the experiences of an undergraduate and thus wasn’t designed for a graduate student.

Can I participate in the Wartburg West or Des Moines Urban Studies programs during my fifth year?
Yes, but there would be other fees associated with these programs. 

Does my fifth year have to immediately follow my eighth term?
No. Your fifth year can be taken at any time beginning fall 2021; however, you cannot have graduated with your bachelor’s degree before taking the fifth year.