Financial Aid Office

Main 27
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101

Phone: 563-387-1018
Fax: 563-387-2241


Upload your completed documents¬†securely to the Financial Aid Office (the student’s 7-digit Luther ID will be needed to upload documents).¬†Please note that depending on the quality of the image,¬† we may require any document not sent as a .pdf file to also be sent via postal mail or hand-delivered to the financial aid office.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at Рbe sure to use this site as it is free of charge

2024-25 Financial Aid Checklist (PDF)

The Department of Education gives financial aid administrators the ability to consider a family’s special circumstances in determining financial aid eligibility.

If special circumstances affect your parents’ or your ability to contribute toward educational expenses, please complete the appropriate form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. If you are unsure as to whether your circumstances may change your financial aid, we encourage you to visit with one of our financial aid counselors prior to completing the paperwork.¬† Each form contains several of the most common special circumstances along with the documentation requirements to process¬†each request. Most¬† requests require submission of Federal Tax Return Transcripts or signed federal tax returns and a letter explaining the circumstance. The Department of Education and Luther College require you to submit proper documentation for your circumstances. Read the instructions carefully to ensure that proper documentation is submitted with your appeal.

In order to receive consideration for special circumstances, we must first have a FAFSA on file for you. If you are not eligible to file a FAFSA, please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your situation.

All appeals are reviewed in accordance with guidance from the Department of Education and college policy. Changes in financial aid packages are awarded based on the availability of funds. Students are expected to utilize full federal loan eligibility prior to being considered for receiving additional Luther grant assistance based on an appeal.
To report circumstances that should be considered in the 2023-24 academic year, please use one of the following forms:

2023-24 Dependent Student Special Circumstance Form

2023-24 Independent Student Special Circumstance Form

We will consider Special Circumstances for the 2023-24 academic year up until the last day of the Spring 2024 semester. We require any document sent electronically be sent as a pdf file. Copies can also be sent via postal mail or hand-delivered to the financial aid office. Your local library may also offer printing and scanning services. 


2024-25 Independent Student Special Circumstance Form

2024-25 Dependent Student Special Circumstance Form

Complete Loan Entrance Counseling (to be completed by the student) at

Sign Direct Stafford Master Promissory Note  at (For Student)

Complete Federal Parent PLUS Loan Application at (For Parent)

Sign Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note at (For Parent)

Luther College has special associations with various off-campus providers. You may study through one of these programs, other colleges and universities, or through a selected approved direct enrollment program. If you choose to participate in one of these programs, you will be considered an itinerant student.

View the following links to learn more about:


You will be required to pay Luther an itinerant fee for each program you attend. You are responsible for paying the actual fees charged by the program. Depending on the program, these fees may be less than the Luther comprehensive fee. In most cases, you will be billed directly by the program. It is important that you pay close attention to the program payment due dates. Review your charges carefully to determine if housing and food are included in your statement. Some programs bill separately for housing and/or food expenses. You should work with the Center for Global Learning or the Financial Aid Office to determine if charges include housing and food.

Available Assistance – Luther-Approved Itinerant Programs

As an itinerant student, you are not eligible to receive your Luther College scholarships or grants. However, you are allowed to use assistance from selected Federal, outside scholarship and loan funds for which you qualify. This would include Federal Pell Grant and any outside scholarship or church portion of EPIC funds you have been awarded as well as Federal Direct Stafford Loan. In addition, the Financial Aid Office will assist you in evaluating your eligibility for Federal Direct PLUS or private educational loan. These programs are outlined on the Loans section of this website.

Financial Aid Application Process

If you are planning to study off-campus, it is very important that you complete the financial aid application early. Complete the following steps early in the calendar year to ensure that funds are here prior to your departure.

  • Complete the¬†FAFSA¬†prior to April 15 to be considered for certain¬†off-campus scholarships.
  • Submit any additional requested documents prior to May 15.
  • If you plan to finance a portion of your trip with a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, or a private educational loan, submit the application six or more weeks prior to your departure. Private lenders will often contact you if loan applications are incomplete or if there are problems with approval. However, you should be proactive and check the status of your loan online.

In addition to the application materials outlined above, you will need to complete and submit the following forms to receive financial aid as an itinerant student:

  • Study Abroad Questionnaire¬†(PDF) This form gives the Financial Aid Office important information for proper calculation of your financial aid, including an expectation of when payment is due to the program and when you plan to leave the U.S. Submit this to the Financial Aid Office.
  • Application for Itinerant/Off-Campus Residency Status¬†(PDF) This is a multi-office form. It must be routed for signatures from the Financial Aid Office, the Office for Financial Services, Residence Life, your advisor, and the Center for Global Learning. After all of the required signatures have been gathered, submit the form to the Center for Global Learning. Once your file there is complete, the¬†Center forwards the completed form to the Registrar’s Office for registration purposes.
  • Study Abroad Consortium/Contractual Agreement¬†(PDF) Complete Part A of this form and submit it to the Luther College Financial Aid Office. We will send this form to an individual at your program for completion. Federal regulations require that we receive the completed agreement from your program before you receive any financial aid.
  • Authorization to Pay Direct¬†(PDF) This form gives written permission for Luther to send a payment from your financial aid (in U.S. dollars) directly to your program/institution. It also gives us contact information required for making this payment.

Some itinerant programs offer competitive scholarships. See the program website information regarding these opportunities. You should also apply for a Gilman Scholarship if you are a Federal Pell Grant recipient (See the Financial Aid Office for details).

Program Payment

Once your aid is finalized and your loan has been approved, the Financial Aid Office will notify the program of your expected funding. Most programs will hold that portion of your balance due until the funds are received. It is your responsibility to pay any remaining balance to your program by the due date. You are not eligible to participate in Luther’s monthly payment plan. However, some programs have their own monthly payment arrangements or are affiliated with other plans. Contact your program for details.

In some cases, you may be required to make a partial payment to your program before financial aid funds are available, even with a commitment of funding. Read materials from your program carefully. Some foreign institutions will not accept a Luther check in U.S. dollars. In those cases, you will need to arrange to make required payments to the program by their due date. Financial aid would then be refunded to your bank account on file about the third week of the semester.

Non-Approved Direct Enrollment

For your protection, we strongly encourage you to consider only approved programs for your off-campus experience. If you choose to direct enroll in a program that is not approved, please be aware of the following concerns:

  • Your credits will not be transferable toward your Luther College degree.
  • You will not be considered enrolled for the purpose of enrollment verification.
  • You will not be considered enrolled for continued educational loan deferment. This will cause your student loans to go into repayment.

Financial Aid Office

Main 27
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101

Phone: 563-387-1018
Fax: 563-387-2241