WAVERLY, IOWA (September 12, 2023) — Wartburg College today announced the Wartburg Commitment, a comprehensive program that includes a new competitive price, reduced financial barriers for lower- and middle-income families, and funding for all students to increase access to immersive experiences.

Here are the highlights of the Wartburg Commitment, which begin in the 2024-25 academic year:

  • Wartburg College will reduce its published tuition price by more than 45 percent to $25,000, bringing the overall cost closer to what students and their families typically pay. General fees also will be lowered in the new pricing model.
  • The Access to Excellence program means all new students who qualify for the Iowa Tuition Grant will have their full Wartburg tuition costs covered through institutional, state, and federal assistance. Out-of-state students who demonstrate similar need will receive a minimum of $9,500 per year.
  • The Knight's Experience fund will provide all students with a one-time disbursement of up to $1,500 that can be used to offset the cost of an experiential learning opportunity, like study away, internships, research, service trips and more.

"Families often make decisions about colleges and universities based on published tuition prices without knowing about the scholarship and financial aid packages that significantly impact sticker price," said Rebecca Ehretsman, Wartburg College president. "We want to remove that initial barrier for more families and ensure all students have access to the experiences we offer."

In 2022, the college clearly advertised that each admitted student was guaranteed a $30,000 scholarship. The more streamlined approach to financial aid, coupled with the hard work of the college's admissions team, led to a 20 percent increase in first-year enrollment for fall 2023.

"It is evident that our prospective students and their families responded favorably to clear and accessible pricing. Now, we have created a comprehensive program that allows more students to consider, afford, and experience a Wartburg education," Ehretsman stated.

The new tuition model also will apply to returning students, who can expect their total net cost for tuition and the student-support services fee to be similar to what they would have paid without the tuition adjustment. However, students who return to Wartburg in 2024-25 and subsequent years will benefit from year-over-year savings with annual tuition increases.

Access to Excellence

To help more students access the Wartburg experience, all new students who qualify for the Iowa Tuition Grant and are admitted to the college will have their full tuition costs covered through institutional, state and federal gift assistance.

"When we first started looking at our tuition model, we knew serving our lower- and middle-income families needed to be one of our top priorities," said Rick Willis, vice president for student recruitment. "All Iowa students who fill out the FAFSA will automatically be evaluated for eligibility in this program so they can focus on the more important elements of their college search — finding the college that fits their academic, co-curricular, and personal needs. Of course, we hope they will find exactly what they are looking for here at Wartburg."

As part of the Access to Excellence program, out-of-state students who demonstrate similar need will receive a minimum of $9,500 per year beginning in fall 2024. Wartburg will continue to recognize student achievement for all students through generous scholarships and other financial aid offers.

Knight's Experience

The final piece of the Wartburg Commitment is the Knight's Experience, a one-time disbursement of up to $1,500 that students can use in their second, third, or fourth year to offset the cost of an experiential learning opportunity. Qualifying programs include internships, research, study-away, service trips, and more.

"At Wartburg College, we are committed to experiential learning that occurs both inside and outside the classroom. The opportunity to learn about diverse communities and cultures through immersion and shared experiences is a distinct aspect of a Wartburg College education," Ehretsman said. "We believe every Wartburg student should have access to a broad range of learning experiences, but we know that cost can be a barrier. The Knight's Experience program will put these opportunities within reach for even more students."

Wartburg will continue to offer students opportunities in more than sixty areas of study, including engineering, public health, actuarial science, business administration, exercise science, and music therapy, all rooted in the liberal-arts tradition. Wartburg also offers a Master of Arts in leadership. The 4-4-1 academic calendar provides ample opportunities for off-campus study, internships, research and field experiences throughout the United States and the world.

The college offers eighteen music ensembles open to all majors, including four that tour internationally on a rotating schedule. A legacy of athletic dominance in more than twenty NCAA Division III sports includes 19 consecutive years capturing the conference All-Sports Trophy, a combined 28 straight years of national championships and more than 100 conference titles in the last twenty years. Student organizations include honor societies and academic organizations, as well as more focused groups in spiritual life, the performing arts, service, and sports and recreation. Each year during the college's breaks, students lead service trips that allow them to engage with people in underserved communities, creating a lifelong commitment to service and the public good.

"We are proud of the breadth and excellence in the opportunities we have to offer at Wartburg College and excited by the possibility that this change will make these experiences more accessible for prospective and current students alike," Willis said.

Wartburg College, a four-year liberal-arts college internationally recognized for community engagement, enrolls about 1,500 students. A college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wartburg is dedicated to challenging and nurturing students for lives of leadership and service as a spirited expression of their faith and learning. The college is characterized by vigorous academic expectations and community engagement within an environment of strong personal support.

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