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Luther College Application Essay

Admission standards at Luther College are very selective. We seek to admit international students who, on the evidence of their academic records, appear capable of successful academic work in the United States.

The college accepts promising students without regard to age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal or state law.

To be considered for admission as a first-year international student, you must complete and submit the following:

  • An application for admission. International applicants must complete the Common Application—including the admissions essay/personal statement.
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or advisors.
  • Original or certified copies of your secondary school transcripts or mark sheets. These copies should be signed by the proper authorities.*
  • The results of your final secondary school examination (school leaving certificate) and the results of any national examination (if your country administers a national examination). If you have not yet taken these examinations, submit them later once you have completed the exams.*
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency. Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) exam are the recommended form of proof. Such proof is not required, however, from applicants whose language of instruction has been English or of those who have studied the English language extensively. In addition, students who are completing the IB Diploma may or may not be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS results. Scores of 550 paper-based or 80 Internet-based are needed on the TOEFL; band 6 or higher is required on the IELTS (6.5 or higher preferred).
  • SAT or ACT test scores. These scores are not required for admission, but we do recommend you take them. The results of these exams may be used to enhance the level of your academic scholarship.
  • A completed, signed, and verified International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA), indicating your ability to finance your travel to and study at Luther College. To begin, you should print off the PDF of the ISFAA form. In addition, you should provide certified bank statements, parental wage statements, or other documents that provide evidence of your ability to finance your portion of costs related to your studies.

*Please note: An original or certified copy of a document must include a stamp/seal and signature from school official or notary, which certifies the document as a copy of an original. Each document should be submitted in English. If the document is not available in English from the school, please submit a complete and literal translation using the same format as the original document.

Luther operates on a rolling admissions cycle, which means we begin accepting students in September and continue to do so each week until the class is full.

You may enroll at Luther beginning with the fall, January, or spring term. If you enroll mid-year, we encourage you to begin with the January term.

Although Luther does not have an application deadline, you should complete your application well in advance of the given term.

Five Application Steps

  1. Complete our online application or choose from one of the following options:
    • The Common Application
    • Luther's Paper Application (Mail to Luther College Admissions, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101)
  2. Ask a teacher or counselor to fill out the Educator's Reference form and send it to us. (A letter of reference via mail or email is also acceptable.)
  3. Submit an essay. You can write a new one or submit something you’ve already written.
  4. Request that your high school guidance counselor submit your high school transcript to us.
  5. Check to see if your ACT or SAT test scores are included on your transcript. If not, ask your counselor to send us a copy. (Or include Luther on your list of colleges when you take the test.)

What Happens Next?

Once we’ve received your application, essay, transcript, test scores and educator’s reference, your file is complete and we will send it to the admissions committee for review. You can expect to hear from us about two weeks later.

If you are accepted and decide to attend Luther, we require a $300 non-refundable enrollment deposit to hold your spot in the following year's class. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call 563-387-1287.