See what students say:

Academics

The 'gist' of Luther College is best summarized by the mission statement for Paideia (the required common courses for…students): the college encourages us to 'seek wisdom in community' by facilitating conversation and creating lasting relationships that extend beyond the walls of the classroom. Accordingly, "class sizes are great" for discussion, and the "intelligent and personable" professors at Luther "are always available and eager to hear your interests or concerns." "They are always a great resource, even for conversation outside of the course," says a student. "They have made my experience at Luther much more personal and rich." "One of the advantages of a small school is the accessibility of faculty and staff." But such closeness is a double-edged sword; when students "miss a day of class, we get called or e-mailed to see where we were." Academic programs across the board receive high marks from students, but "particularly science and music" are seen as strengths of the college. The school also has a Writing Center and Student Academic Support Center, where students can go and find help when they are struggling academically. "Energy is also found in the college administration"; administrators are visible throughout campus and during school events, and they do "a great job of providing many opportunities for students outside academics." "If I'm studying and the president walks by, he will often stop to ask how I'm doing and what I am studying," says a sophomore. "The strong sense of community that everyone talks about really does exist here," says a student.

Student Body

At Luther, "the typical student is white, Midwestern," and many are Lutheran. He or she is "middle-class," of "Scandinavian" descent, "generally friendly and courteous," "laid-back, easy-going," and "active, engaged, [and] excited about learning." "Everyone dresses pretty casually, and the blond and tan Barbie type is not very prominent." Many of this "Norwegian-sweater-wearing" crew hails from the suburbs of the Twin Cities and from all over Iowa, and there is an "increasing number [of] international students each year," which make up a large portion of the minority population. There are "intense music kids, students concerned with environmental issues, athletes, religious students." Students claim that the nice thing about Luther "is that all of these different kinds of students interact," as the school is "definitely not a 'cliquey' place."

Campus Life

Life at Luther is generally very relaxed and peaceful. Luther College "pays very much attention to the social life at Luther," and the art and music scene around town "is fantastic. There are many workshops and classes, in addition to live local music performances and poetry slams." "There is never a dull moment," and on any given day, students can "throw a Frisbee around on Library Lawn, try flying kites, or play nine square (which started as four square)." Everyone enjoys being outdoors, and "going hiking, biking, and canoeing on the Upper Iowa River," and "cross country skiing, caf tray sledding, and ice skating" are all popular pursuits throughout the seasons. "There is somewhat of a party scene at Luther," but "no more than at any other institution." For the drinking set, besides parties, "There are about two bars that most students go to." But there is plenty to do for the non-drinking set. Students credit the Student Activities Council with providing many entertainment options (and also giving the opportunity to create their own activities). There are a wide variety of options, and everything "is well done so you can't go wrong in your choice of which to attend. The only sad part is that you can't attend them all!" Off-campus, "although there isn't a huge amount of exciting things to do," downtown Decorah ("a small Midwestern town full of charm and life.") has many historic buildings and "numerous restaurants…that are crazy-affordable"—a good thing, as the food at the school "could be better."

Overview

Applicants
4,288
Acceptance Rate
65%
Average HS GPA
3.71

GPA Breakdown

55%
Over 3.75
19%
3.50 - 3.74
12%
3.25 - 3.49
10%
3.00 - 3.24
6%
2.50 - 2.99

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SAT & ACT Test Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
503 - 640
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
520 - 665
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
23 - 28

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Recommendation(s)

Selectivity Rating


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Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
11.2:1
Total Faculty
208
with Terminal Degree
176

105
Women
103
Men
19
Minority

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
71%
Graduate in 5 years
80%
Graduate in 6 years
80%

Majors

  • AREA, ETHNIC, CULTURAL, GENDER, AND GROUP STUDIES.

  • African-American/Black Studies.
  • Women's Studies.

  • BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES.

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
  • Neuroscience.

  • BUSINESS, MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, AND RELATED SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Accounting.
  • Business Administration and Management, General.

  • COMMUNICATION, JOURNALISM, AND RELATED PROGRAMS.

  • Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

  • COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Computer Science.
  • Information Science/Studies.

  • EDUCATION.

  • Elementary Education and Teaching.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS.

  • English Language and Literature, General.

  • FOREIGN LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS.

  • Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General.
  • French Language and Literature.
  • German Language and Literature.
  • Scandinavian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.
  • Spanish Language and Literature.

  • HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND RELATED PROGRAMS.

  • Athletic Training/Trainer.
  • Health and Wellness, General.
  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse.

  • HISTORY.

  • History, General.

  • MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS.

  • Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Mathematics, General.

  • MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES.

  • International/Global Studies.
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other.

  • NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION.

  • Environmental Studies.

  • PARKS, RECREATION, LEISURE, AND FITNESS STUDIES.

  • Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General.

  • PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES.

  • Philosophy.
  • Religion/Religious Studies.

  • PHYSICAL SCIENCES.

  • Chemistry, General.
  • Physics, General.

  • PSYCHOLOGY.

  • Psychology, General.

  • PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONS.

  • Social Work.

  • SOCIAL SCIENCES.

  • Anthropology.
  • Economics, General.
  • Political Science and Government, General.
  • Sociology.

  • VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS.

  • Art/Art Studies, General.
  • Dance, General.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General.
  • Music, General.


Degrees

Bachelor's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Internship

Notable Faculty


Prominent Alumni


Lorenzo Creighton
President, New York New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

Michael Osterholm
Director of the Center for Infectious Disease

Arne Sorenson
President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International

Brian Anderas
Creator of StoryPeople

Lois Hill
President, Lois Hill Jewelry

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
71%
Graduate in 5 years
80%
Graduate in 6 years
80%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Dates

Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Mar 1

Required Forms

FAFSA
School

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$30,804

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$27,778

Average Need-Based Loan
$7,319

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
71%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$36,685

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$41,950
Required Fees
$340
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,040

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$5,040
Transportation for Commuters
$1,290

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
2,053
Foreign Countries Represented
73

Demographics

1.29%
Asian
1.94%
African-American
4.78%
Hispanic
81.18%
Caucasian
7.97%
International

55% female
45% male
98% are full time
2% are part time

Overview


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
93%
Help finding off-campus housing
No

First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Village

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Other
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions


Director
Sally Mallam

College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered


Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
104
Number of Honor Societies
13

Number of Social Sororities
3
Number of Religious Organizations
8

1% join a fraternity
2% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division III

24% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Norse)
12 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Football
Golf
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Wrestling
Women's Sports (Norse)
11 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Golf
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball


Sustainability

Luther College is a charter ACUPCC signatory, and the school has developed an in-depth strategic plan for institutional sustainability. In 2013, the college launched a Center for Sustainable Communities to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region. In terms of greenhouse emissions, Luther’s Board of Regents has pledged to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2015 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Investments in energy efficiency cut emissions by roughly a quarter already and major renewable energy projects added to an overall reduction in the college’s carbon footprint of over 40 percent. Geothermal energy heats and cools two of the facilities on campus, reducing Luther’s need for fossil fuel heating and cooling. Remarkably, Luther completed the construction of a 1.6 MW wind turbine which produces electricity equal to one third of Luther’s annual consumption. In addition, a 280-kilowatt solar photovoltaic field, the largest solar array in the state of Iowa, was recently installed on college property. The college fleet features both hybrids and biodiesel vehicles—the fuel for which is processed with waste oil from dining services. Sustainable food is also a priority at Luther with a student-run organic garden and 35 percent local food in the cafeteria last year. Luther is home to a thriving environmental studies major with a choice of three different concentrations: policy, environmental science, or design-your-own. The 950-acre campus is home to a variety of pond, river, and prairie ecosystems for hands-on study. Students can pursue multiple work-study and internship opportunities in sustainability ranging from environmental education in afterschool and summer Discovery Camps to outreach with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.

97/99
AASHE STARS® rating
SILVER
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
14%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2018.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
97

Fee for Network Use
Yes

Partnerships with Technology Companies
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Hannah Scheevel
Visit Coordinator

Address
700 College Drive
Admissions
Decorah, IA 52101

Phone
(563) 387-1287

Email
admissions@luther.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Marty's Cyber Cafe
Legends Fitness Center
The Cafeteria
Residence Hall Lounges
Sunnyside Cafe in the Center for the Arts

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Trout Run Trail
Art Haus
Mabe's Pizza
Whippy Dip
Rubaiyat

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday - Friday; Saturdays (academic yr)
8 am - 5 pm M-F; 10 am - 1 pm Saturdays
(563) 387-1287

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Not Available

Times

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Year-round

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit
admissions@luther.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
Seniors only. Most dates, Sunday - Friday, during academic year.

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Hometown Taxi; LaCrosse, WI or Rochester, MN airports; Luther shuttle to Minneapolis Airport at college break times

Driving Instructions to Campus
Off of Hwy 52 North of the intersection with Hwy 9

Local Accommodations
Fairfield Inn & Suites, Country Inn, Quality Inn, Super 8, Bed and Breakfasts, Hotel Winneshiek


Articles & Advice