#3 Best Private Colleges in Iowa

Luther College

Decorah, Iowa

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Luther College overview
Location Decorah, Iowa
Online luther.edu
School Type Private 4 Year
Setting Remote Town
Religious Affiliation Evangelical Lutheran Church
Luther College overview
Size Small
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad
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Luther College, situated in the picturesque small town of Decorah, Iowa, offers a serene campus setting surrounded by the natural beauty of the Upper Iowa River and bluffs. Established in 1861, Luther is a private liberal arts college of the Lutheran tradition, reflecting a commitment to an education that cultivates breadth of knowledge and lifelong learning. The college hosts a variety of undergraduate programs, with notable strength in music and environmental studies. Luther's curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and provides unique opportunities for research, internships, and study abroad. With a selective admissions process, the institution attracts a diverse student body dedicated to academic excellence. Residential life is integral to the Luther experience, with a range of housing options fostering a close-knit living community. Located roughly 150 miles from Minneapolis, the school provides students a tranquil environment that complements its rigorous academic atmosphere. While Luther College does offer a full range of NCAA Division III athletic programs, it is particularly recognized for its strong music ensembles rather than intercollegiate athletic prowess.

In the most recent statistical year 2,188 prospective students applied, and 1,648 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 400 enrolled in the school.  1,593 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 17 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $47,510 plus fees of $650. Luther- Norse is ranked 336 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












Luther- Norse is rated within the top 38% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 7 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for Luther College within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Luther College overview
SAT 1075/1330
ACT 22/29
GPA 3.65

Applications Accepted

Luther College overview
Applications Due -
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $0

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Annual Cost to Attend


Costs for Luther College
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,040
Other Fees$650
Room and Board $10,670
Budget for Other Expenses$3,015
Total One Year Cost$62,885

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$50,000 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

69% within 6 years

Explore Post Graduation Outcomes

Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Luther College students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 13%
Social Sciences 12%
Visual and Performing Arts 11%
Biology 10%
Foreign Languages 6%

View All 35 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=153834 IPEDS survey data for Luther College.

Current students may use the Luther College GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.