Financial Aid Office
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101
Frequently Asked Questions
Financial aid can be used to pay for books once the student has a remaining credit balance on their student account after other charges have been paid. Students simply can charge books purchased in the Luther Book Shop to their student account.
The Financial Aid Office will notify prospective students of needed forms via mail, e-mail or telephone as required in order to create a financial aid award. Students who choose to attend Luther will receive a mailed notice of forms needed to complete their file in May of the year they will start college.
Once a student begins attendance at Luther, requests for forms are sent via e-mail and a list of needed forms can also be viewed on a student’s Norse Hub account. Most forms that are being requested can be downloaded within Forms.
Federal regulations now require that we collect an IRS Tax Return Transcript from any applicant and their parents (if the student is dependent) to process verification. Utilizing the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing or correcting the FAFSA lessens the likelihood that an application will be selected for verification. A signed copy of a tax return can be used if a tax transcript cannot be obtained from the IRS.
Most work-study awards allow for a student to work an average of six to ten hours per week throughout the academic year. International students are allowed to work up to thirteen hours per week because the law generally does not allow them to work off campus. Continuing students who are also resident assistants (RAs) are limited to six hours per week due to the work requirements of a RA position.
Families can choose to participate in a 4 or 5 month payment plan each semester. Details on each plan can be found in the Student section of the Financial Services website.
The FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a function that students can use while completing a FAFSA on the web that will allow both the student’s and their parent(s) (if dependent) IRS tax filing data to be automatically transferred to the correct lines on the FAFSA. The main benefit of utilizing this feature is that the correct tax information is populated on the correct lines of the FAFSA. A secondary benefit to using this process is that the applicant’s FAFSA data is less likely to be selected for verification.
Usually not. The majority of Luther’s students are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, but are eligible for a variety of other types of aid including scholarships, grants, work-study and student loans.
Our payment plan is administered in-house; therefore, there is no cost to participate in the plan as long as payments are automatically withdrawn from a bank account.
The monthly payment plan can be used in combination with both student and parent loans to assist in paying any remaining balance to the college.
The results of the FAFSA each year are one of the main factors that drive the make-up of a financial aid offer. If FAFSA results are similar each year, the financial aid offer should be similar.
The main components driving FAFSA results are family size, number of current college students in the family, and the income and assets of both the student and parents. Failure to meet renewal criteria for scholarships can also change a financial aid offer.
Generally speaking, you will use the information of the parent you have lived with most during the past twelve months. In the event that both parents are living in the same household, information for both parents must be reported. The instructions on the FAFSA are fairly precise in this area.
A standard formula is used to evaluate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of all students. The main factors that drive EFC for a dependent student include a student’s income and assets, income and assets of the parent(s) a student lives with, the number of family members in the student’s household and the number of family members of that household in college (excluding parents).
February 1st of each year is designated as Luther’s priority filing date for incoming students. This means we encourage families to have their FAFSA on file by February 1st. This allows us adequate time to construct a financial aid package for the upcoming year. The continuing student priority filing date has been moved to March 15th.
Yes, PLUS loans can be deferred while the student is enrolled in college on at least a half-time basis. The parent borrower can either request the deferment at the time they complete the online loan application or they can contact their loan servicer and request the deferment once the loan has been disbursed.
You will need to contact your lender for specific instructions on making interest only payments on loans while you are enrolled, as procedures may vary by lender. We strongly encourage students and their families to pay this interest as it accrues to help lower the overall cost of the loan.
Direct Deposit allows the recipient of funds quicker access to those funds without the hassle of keeping track of a paper check and making a trip to the bank. Direct Deposit is also less costly for the college to administer and serves as an efficient means to process payments.
Job losses of a parent should be discussed with a member of the financial aid staff. In many cases, a loss of income will increase the amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive. This, however, is dependent on the percentage of income lost when compared to adjusted gross income and reported assets.
Prospective students must be admitted to the college in order to receive a financial aid award. Receipt of the award is also dependent on documents we may need from a student and/or their parents to complete the award.
Our office will also hold an award if we expect a student to complete a music audition or if we are waiting on new transcripts or test scores.
Continuing students receive an award once they are registered for the upcoming year and have submitted all necessary documents to complete their financial aid file.
Many students choose not to work during their first semester at Luther. Students who do this can still secure a job for second semester by reviewing job postings on the financial aid website. The Student Employment Office does not assign placements after the initial placement is made.
Outside scholarships are usually reported to the Financial Aid Office in the summer once a student feels they have heard from all of the entities to which they applied for a scholarship. Many students bring this information with them to summer registration. It is recommended that these scholarships be reported prior to July 1, so accurate billings can be calculated.
In most cases, loans declined now can be reinstated later in the academic year as long as the student is enrolled at least half time and making satisfactory academic progress at the time the request is made.
A series of thirteen questions on the FAFSA determine a student’s dependency status. The U.S. Department of Education’s definition of a dependent student is different than that used by the Internal Revenue Service.
Most financial aid is credited to a student’s account at the rate of one-half each semester. As a general rule, financial aid is credited to a student’s account no sooner than ten days prior to the start of each semester if all documents are returned.
Each private loan lender’s loan terms and conditions will vary. Therefore, what may be right for one family may not be for another. The financial aid website contains a preferred list of lenders that offer competitive terms as well as a link to frequently asked questions regarding private loan borrowing.
All outside scholarships must be reported to the Financial Aid Office as federal regulations require that outside scholarships be considered as a part of the total financial aid package. The Luther College Financial Aid Office will reflect those scholarships on an award letter as “Outside Scholarship Received By Student”.
The value of academic scholarships remains constant for four academic years of full-time study. Each scholarship is renewable providing that the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.
A student can have multiple positions, but the total hours per week for all positions cannot exceed what is allowed in the work-study award. This is generally between six to ten hours per week.
Since Luther College utilizes the Federal Direct Loan program; a student would borrow their federal Stafford and PLUS loans directly from the government and would not need to utilize their hometown bank for this purpose.
Work-study assignments for first-year students are given out during the Registration, Orientation and Advising Days (ROAD) held each May and June.
A student would be ineligible to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the following situations:
- The dependent student’s parents are married, but file separate tax returns.
- It has been less than 2 weeks since the tax returns were electronically filed (allow 8 weeks for paper filing).
- The independent student is married and files a tax return separate of their spouse.
- The tax return filing status on the FASFA is marked as “I will file, but I have not completed my tax return”.
- The applicant’s marital status has changed since January 1 of the processing year.
- Either the student or their parents (in the case of a dependent student) has amended their tax return.
Financial Aid Office
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101