Luther College

Decorah, IA, USA

Reviews

Luther College

4.08 Average Rating

Jessica from Prior Lake, MN

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
It has a great atmosphere, where I feel welcomed and at home. There are so many great activities and programs to be a part of such as, music ensembles, student-lead groups, and the outstanding nursing program. Since it is a smaller campus, you have more opportunity for one-on-one time with a teacher and/or tutor and it is really easy to get to know all sorts of different people.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely come check out the campus, or even stay over night with a current student. Actually coming to visit the campus is what convinced me to apply to Luther and is what made me fall in love with the school. If possible, schedule a tour where you can meet a faculty member in your prospective area of study, a music professor in a band or choir, or a coach in an athletic field that interests you.
Academic Rigor
There is definitely a class for everyone, no matter your academic level. Counselors and teachers are ready to help you find the class that fits you, whether you need to be moved into a more challenging course, or maybe you need to take a step back.
Dorm Life
The residential life here is fantastic. They choose they best RAs, who have great attitudes and are always ready to help you with whatever you may need. Of course the first-year dorms are not air conditioned (which is common among most schools), but they do have air-conditioned study and social lounges in each residential hall. They also each have a kitchen and a service center where you can check out cleaning supplies, cooking necessities, etc. The RAs do their best to plan fun activities for your floor to do together to increase bonding.
Food and Dining
The food in the cafeteria is actually really great. Every day they have a grill (hamburgers, fries etc.), salad bar, pasta bar, sandwich counter, a main entree line, fresh fruit, a simple servings line (gluten-free, etc.), cereal/other breakfast items, and stellar dessert. Online, they also have the entire week's menu, where you can plan what you're going to have (or what you did have) and it will show you the nutritional information. As far as other places to eat on campus, there is Marty's--a more laid-back, hang out spot, with more restaurant type food (taco salads, burgers, chicken, etc.), there is the coffee/ice cream/bakery shop, the C-store where you can buy some general food for snacks or a quick bite to eat, there is Oneota Market, and the Sunnyside Cafe. I'd have to say that the food here is pretty great. They also try to serve a lot of locally grown, organic, and gluten-free food so there is sure to be a lot of options.
What to do for fun
It seems like there is always something to do on campus, whether it be a concert, a band performance, a guest speaker, movie night, study group, or athletic event. There is never a dull moment and definitely has something for everyone.
Bang for the buck
Yeah, it's a private college, so of course the initial sticker price is going to be shocking; however, because it is a private school, they are able to offer more financial aid, unlike a large state university. The dorms are in good condition and have a more homey feel (i.e. they don't look like a prison cell). The food is great, the professors are helpful and knowledgeable, and the overall vibe of the campus is very welcoming.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
One of my favorite traditions on campus is SeptemberTime. Every night in the month of September, we will all gather at a different location on campus and dance to the song September by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Also, there is this cute little ice cream shack in town (within walking distance from campus) called the Whippy Dip. It is definitely a campus favorite.
Great for these types of students
It is great for students who want a smaller, more close-knit campus. It is also great for those you want to be involved and challenged academically, but who also want to participate in sports, music ensembles, student-lead groups, etc.
Clubs and Activities
As previously mentioned, there is always something to do on campus, and most of the time it has something to do with a student-lead group or activity. There are dance groups, acapella ensembles, groups for different areas of study, leadership/community service groups, a PRIDE group, even a quidditch team!
Greek Life
There is a small Greek life on campus; however, it is not a big part of campus life, like it may be in some bigger universities. Many of the sororities/fraternizes on campus are community service based.
Campus Safety
I would say that our campus is really safe, since it is in a smaller town. Usually the biggest crime on campus is a bike getting stolen. However, this is usually because it is not locked and someone borrows it to get across campus. Most of the time the bike is later found at another building on campus.
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matt from Rochester, MN

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Almost every department takes pride and enjoyment in teaching students everything they came to learn as well as a good deal they did not sign up for. Most students are pleasantly surprised by the faculty's desire and success in challenging what we think we know.
Am enjoying being here
My music collection has tripled, I can play racquetball with almost anyone, I can hold my own in a ballroom with latin or swing, I eat gyros like it's my job, I can blow minds around the bonfire with stories and philosophical musings, and all this happened within my first year. I met my college sweetheart at a freshman orientation dress-up dinner the first week. Now that graduation is here, I can not imagine any part of the rest of my life living up to my experience at Luther.
Bang for the buck
Unless you have a wealthy relative, Luther is not the place for kids who barely survived high school. This college takes its role as a bridge to adulthood seriously by making sure people who are ready to become adults do so. This is done by providing deserving students with stunning financial aid packages, even blurring the scholarship lines in places so that those who plan on getting the full experience miss out on nothing.
Tips for prospective students
Walk softly but carry a big stick -Roosevelt
Keep in mind that any college you choose is a business at some level. You need to think of yourself as a consumer of education. This means knowing what you need to do to get the absolute most of your experience. Do not allow the administration to intimidate you into accepting less than you pay for. This does not mean you need to start riots, just understand what is required of you and be firm but reasonable when organizing your time.
We can never step twice in the same river- Heraclitus
Your college experience will be what you make of it. There is truly no limitation to what you can accomplish within the borders of college and Luther does a fantastic job of providing you with more than enough avenues to accommodate your personal expansion.
Man is the measure of all things- Protagoras
Do not forget that you are your own person. You may have learned in high school that it can be easy to get sucked into the herd mentality. This may be worse at Luther than other schools because of its small enclosed community. That said, it is not impossible to triumph over the group-think if you consciously hold on to what is personally important. You may find as I did that the individual emerging from the other side is stronger and clearer than you could have guessed.
Great for these types of students
As long as you participate, any college will expand your horizons. Luther is no different, promising friends for life, new favorite foods, music, authors, and pastimes. I came to realize and maximize my potential on an individual and community level. Luther has the same pitfalls as other schools, but avoiding them is surprisingly easy if you stay true to yourself. Of course, if you are coming for a party, there is no shortage of that either.
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Jessica

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Luther is an outstanding private liberal arts college. The faculty and students are friendly, and the campus is absolutely beautiful. From taking interesting classes to exploring the quaint town of Decorah, Iowa, Luther students certainly enjoy a great college experience; spend four years at Luther, and learn to bleed blue.
Academic Rigor
Luther students know how to have fun, but they also are held to high expectations by most professors. For example, every freshman must take a course called Paideia, which is basically a mixture of history and English. Within this class, students are expected to read various books and other readings, participate in class discussion, and write formal and informal essays. By having to take Paideia at the beginning of their Luther experience, students are able to jump into the rhythm of college and its complexity rather early in the game.
Dorm Life
In most cases, students must live on campus for through their junior year. Though not the most luxurious dorm rooms in the country, the freshmen dorms are known to create a great sense of community. The upperclassmen dorms provide a multitude of choices for living: students can live with one, two, or three roommates, or they can even choose a group of friends to cluster with. Three of the buildings are built into hills, so from highway 52, they almost look like tree houses...
Food and Dining
The Luther caf doesn't have the best food in the world, but most people can be satisfied through one trip to the caf due to the many choices. There is also the Oneota market, open for breakfast and lunch during the week, which offers a fresh salad bar and several sandwich options. Marty's cafe has lots of appetizers, sandwiches, and delicious desserts to choose from. Sunnyside cafe, located in the art building, has delicious, addictive cinnamon rolls.
What to do for fun
Decorah, although a small town, really has a lot to offer. During warm months, the infamous Whippy Dip can surely make anyone's day better with its soft-serve ice-cream treats. Located near the Upper Iowa River, students can also take advantage of the canoeing and kayaking rentals in Decorah. Being a hilly place, there are lots of breathtaking biking and hiking trails. In the winter, students can rent cross-country skis for the trails or ice skates for the outdoor makeshift rink. There is also a bowling alley, a movie theater that shows a free movie for students monthly, lots of great restaurants, and great shops downtown.
Great for these types of students
If you are into music, come to Luther! Also, Luther has great biology and nursing programs.
Campus Safety
The infamous SPO cops will make you feel safe and secure!
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Nathan from Decorah, IA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Luther College is a great place to go to learn. The professors are very knowledgeable and very friendly. The professors will gladly spend time with a student to help that student understand concepts that a student is not understanding. The class sizes are fairly small. 25-30 students is the most I have seen in a class. The professors will know by name rather than a number.
Am enjoying being here
I love it here at Luther. The people here are very friendly. Luther is not just a school. It is a community. You are not just here to learn, you are also here to live. Luther wants to make life away from home as comfortable as they can. They do a fine job. There are so many things to do, you will never be bored.
Bang for the buck
Luther is one of the most expensive colleges in the state of Iowa, but you get your money's worth. Luther will do everything it can to get you out of here in four years. They have all the resources needed to get through college in four years, all the student has to do is apply himself or herself.
Tips for prospective students
1) Get to know your professors. Go in during their office hours and just chat with them. They will be more than willing to talk to you, and try to make life here easier.

2) Get to know your RA's (Resident Assistants). They are upperclassmen who have been through what you going through. They remember how difficult it was during their first year, and they will be able to help you get through it.

3) Get to know the people down in the Student Academic Support Center(SASC) and Student Support Services(SSS). They are located on the ground floor of the library. They will help you with whatever you need. They will help with academic help, and provide you with tutors. They can give advice for financial support and they are great people to talk to when you are having problems and you have no idea who to turn to.
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Martin from Decorah, IA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Everyday there's always something to look forward to learning. Just when you think there may be a time when the professors go over something you think that you know they go over and make sure the teach the newest material released in the world. For example, Paideia, Health, Mathematics, one of the various choir rehearsals, piano, private voice lessons, and even in fitness and wellness (PE) class!
Am enjoying being here
Yes! I love being here! It is truly lucky for me to have been accepted to this extraordinary college. The community here is so connected and committed. Professors always are willing to help you the best way possible to do well in their classes. The landscape environment is beautiful year round. Most of all, there's always something to do and look forward to here in this college.
Bang for the buck
This college is totally worth every penny! Plus, they offer lots of financial aid for the ones who are accepted. I don't think I know of any other college who really satisfies someone like this one. I invite all who are willing to work hard at everything they do here! Welcome!
Tips for prospective students
I recommend first of all, getting some reading done the summer before starting school here because of the fact that this college has a required course for first years that involves reading, writing, and discussing over books. Also, get active and involved with anything you can to keep you from getting bored. There are daily chapel services, concerts, recitals, games/meets, restaurant performances, dorm activities, etc. Overall, take advantage of what is being offered to you!
Great for these types of students
This college is great for those interested in music, the sciences, and pre-professional courses. (As well as many others.) This college has such a positive influence on you that you just don't want to leave once you start! There is so much history and tradition in this college that I love hearing about it from faculty and staff. You tend to hear and find out the most interesting things!
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Douglas from Humboldt, IA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Bang for the buck
Despite the cost it is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the state and definitely worth the price tag.
Tips for prospective students
Try a little bit of everything; get involved with local student political groups, play intramural sports, and anything else that might interest you.
Great for these types of students
Definitely the place to be for music and science students. It is also a great place for those same students to be active in sports as well as keep up with their educational goals.
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Emily from River Falls, WI

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The most important and valuable thing to me that I've found here is the close knit community. Everyone here cares about everyone on campus, in Decorah, and in the world. It's really allowed me to meet some of the nicest people I've ever met!
Tips for prospective students
Study hard and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can! There are so many things offered here and it's easy to get involved!
Academic Rigor
The professors expect a lot of you throughout campus, but you form such a close bond with them and all your classmates that it is easy to want to work hard and make them proud!
Dorm Life
There is no other place I'd want to live during college! I am going to be an RA in the coming years and I'm excited to work with others to make a positive residence life experience like I've had this first year of school!
Food and Dining
"The Caf" as it's known here, has good food and many different ethnic options along with comforting home foods and healthy foods for a good balance! Along with the Caf, Marty's is a good treat every once in awhile, Nordic Brew has the best chai tea, Sunnyside Cafe is the perfect treat for a good job done, Oneota is quick and convenient, the C-Store allows for late night snacking, and Grab 'n Go is an excellent option for college students on the go!
What to do for fun
Not only are there great options on campus every day and night, but Decorah is a beautiful area and there's a lot to do despite it being a "smaller" town! If you like nature, it's the place for you, and if not, there are some cute little shops downtown to check out too! All of the local restaurants are great too!
Bang for the buck
While it looks to be on the pricier side, there are many scholarships and financial aid opportunities, and it is such a wonderful place to be that you wouldn't want to spend a penny elsewhere-- the experience is so amazing!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There are many animals- deer and squirrels to name a few- who live on campus and always provide entertainment when walking across campus! Other traditions include occasional Whippy Walks to an awesome ice cream place downtown, and many other annual activities!
Great for these types of students
If you really desire building great relationships with all people you meet, this is the place to do so! The faculty, staff, students, everyone cares about the people on campus and it makes it a wonderful community to live in.
Clubs and Activities
There are tons of activities and groups to join on campus! Many sports teams, musical ensembles, and other groups that are welcoming to all people!
Greek Life
There are a few fraternities and sororities to join on campus and they are a close and loving bunch to be with!
Campus Safety
Campus security is quick to communicate with students and officials to protect all on campus or anything that could affect campus. They are always seen around campus making sure everything is as it should be!
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Sadie

researching this school
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Luther is a beautiful, small town college with lots of great things going for it. All of the facilities are very nice, the teachers care about the students and the surrounding area is very supportive of the school. It's a great place to go if you're looking for a more intimate atmosphere with plenty of opportunities.
Academic Rigor
Though I'm not a student there myself (yet?) I know the courses are good quality.
Dorm Life
I had the opportunity to stay in Brandt Hall for a week over the summer and the facilities were very nice. Clean and suits students' needs.
Food and Dining
I have eaten in the cafeteria several times and their food is pretty good. There are several options, whether you want to eat unhealthy or healthy, Luther provides what you're craving.
What to do for fun
There's a really cute ice cream shop within walking distance from the campus called the Whippy Dip that everyone loves. There are also several biking and walking trails along the nearby river. Another fun spot is a small waterfall that's also within walking distance from the campus.
Great for these types of students
Luther College is great for students who want to explore their options and grow personally, while still feeling comfortable and safe. Luther provides many opportunities and there are lots of students on campus, but it always feels smaller than it is.
Campus Safety
You get a general sense of being very safe on campus. Everyone is very kind and helpful, and as afar as I know there's never been any serious crimes.
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Alexandra from Cedar Falls, IA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Luther College provides a safe, clean, and healthy environment for all students. All the staff makes everyone who enters the campus feel welcome and that they belong here. Luther College cares about healthy lifestyle choices and sustainability by providing healthy meal options and composting as much as they can, rather than sending it to the dump and harming the environment.
Tips for prospective students
If you have the opportunity, stay overnight on campus to get a feel for everyday college life to see if it is the right choice for you. Getting a feel for everything on campus, such as the food, sporting events, and dorm life will help make your choice for where you want to go a lot easier!
Academic Rigor
Luther College makes it a point to have every student well rounded in every area of study, rather than just focusing on your intended major. They do this by having all-college requirements that every student has to take in order to graduate. This includes taking Paideia as a first-year student, which focuses on writing, reading, thinking, and discussing topics that are important in the world today.
Dorm Life
Luther College provides safe and inviting dorms for students to stay in. Every dorm is equipped with a kitchen and laundry rooms for students to use. The Resident Assistants that stay on the floor with the students are very helpful and easy to talk to about anything. They are fun to be around but get their jobs done effectively and efficiently every time.
Food and Dining
Luther College provides several different options for meals in the cafeteria. There are at least seven different food stations, all of them including healthy options. They make it a point to cater to everyone and have something everyone can enjoy, including a separate gluten-free line.
What to do for fun
Although Decorah, Iowa is a small town, Luther College makes it a point to have lots of events for students to go to. There are two concerts every semester with big artists and several other concerts with less-known artists. Luther believes every student should have the opportunity to be a part of any event they want without having to worry about finances being a problem, so they include a standard $100 fee at the beginning of the year that covers any extra performance costs that come to the college without it costing too much for the students. Without this, it would cost the students an average of $25 every time there is ANY performance at the college.
Bang for the buck
Although the sticker price for Luther College may seem very big, the financial services are very useful and very good at finding grants and scholarships for students in need. Most students that attend Luther College for less than the cost of attending a public school. With the amount that the students do pay, Luther uses that money wisely on the students by providing the best meals, performances, dorms, security they can find.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Luther College is very well known for its efforts in sustainability and have several hybrid, electric, and natural gas cars. As the college has remodeled their buildings, they have added many sustainable elements such as low-flow water systems, occupancy sensors, efficient air-handling systems. The school also puts in lots of windows to use for natural light, rather than artificial.
A big tradition on campus is taking whippy walks with your friends down to the local ice cream shop, called the Whippy Dip.
Another big tradition is Luther's annual Christmas concert called Christmas at Luther. There are five shows every year, with every show being sold out. About 60 percent of students on campus participate in the show. This is possible because a student can be involved with sports and music without either one taking more time than the other.
Great for these types of students
This school is very fitting for students who like to help the environment and very into sustainability. Luther College has a very strong music department, drawing students in every year with their summer and winter music camps called Dorian Music Festival. Luther also has a very strong science department, mainly in biology, but also has a pretty big nursing program. Luther College is great for students who like to be involved in lots of things because it is a liberal arts college and allows students to participate in several different things without majoring in the subject, such as music.
Clubs and Activities
There are clubs for everyone! Luther has clubs ranging from athletics to arts to academics. If a student wishes to be a part of a club but there is not one available, the student can request to start the club that they wish to be a part of, making it possible for everyone to be involved.
Greek Life
The biggest honor society at Luther College is Phi Beta Kappa. This promotes excellence in liberal arts and sciences. Greek life is not a very big part of the college experience at Luther, but if a student wishes to be a part of a fraternity or sorority, there are several opportunities available.
Campus Safety
Luther College has a very safe campus. There is 24-hour security guards on campus that can be called any time for any reason, even to be walked back to your dorm if you feel uncomfortable walking alone. All dorms have an outside lock system that only Luther students have access getting into with their ID cards. Students may only enter other dorms before 10pm using their ID cards. This allows the students in each dorm to be safe.
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Jennifer from Saint Paul, MN

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Tips for prospective students
Visit while school is in session! You will get a feel of what the school is like. Also, if you can, do an overnight! Join an organization because it will help you adjust to college life. Know what your limit is in terms of how many credits you want to take per semester. Take classes that interest you. Try to stay on top of events that are going on during weekends or at night so that you meet as many people as possible. Never be afraid to ask for help on an assignment from your professors because they will help you with whatever you need.
Academic Rigor
The teachers truly care about what they're teaching. In each of the classes, you learn so much and are able to apply what you learn to your life.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is fantastic. You get to know your roommates well, and you also get to know the people on your floor very well. The RAs on the floor will try to schedule as many floor outings or meetings as possible so that people on the floor can connect with each other.
Food and Dining
It's just food. A little repetitive at times, but you'll get used to it. Warning: If you want macaroni and cheese with chicken nuggets, be prepared to stand in a line for 10+ minutes.
What to do for fun
When it's nice out, go out for a walk downtown or to Dunning Springs. Take advantage of the outdoor recreation opportunities emailed to you through your Luther email.
Bang for the buck
For the price, you get a fantastic experience. Definitely apply for scholarships! Financial aid is willing to work with you so that you get the financial assistance you need.
Great for these types of students
Music students. The music program here is absolutely fantastic.
Clubs and Activities
There are tons of clubs that students run and that students can join. It's easy to find a club that you'll enjoy, and you can also always start a club if you feel like it!
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