Determining Financial Need

At Luther your need-based financial aid is based on information gathered from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A standard formula mandated by the federal government is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), or the amount of money your family is expected to be able to pay towards your education in a given year. Your EFC will be the same for every school to which you apply.

Financial Aid then takes the total cost for attending Luther for a year (including an estimate for the cost of books, transportation and personal expenses) and subtracts your Expected Family Contribution. The result is your demonstrated need. In other words:

          Total Cost of Luther Education
  - Your Expected Family Contribution
 = Your Demonstrated Need at Luther

Once your demonstrated need has been determined, the Luther Financial Aid Office puts together an offer of scholarships, grants, work-study and loans that will make a Luther education affordable for you and your family. It is important to note that while the FAFSA is a tool that simply plugs numbers into a formula, Luther's financial aid staff is made up of caring people who recognize that your family is about more than numbers on a page. Our staff looks at each student and family individually; if your family has a unique circumstance - the loss of a job, medical expenses, a parent in college, etc. - please contact the Financial Aid Office for guidance.

The following chart outlines the average assistance awarded to the first-year class of 2020 based on a comprehensive fee (tuition, room, board, and technology fee) of $55,720. Do keep in mind this is simply an average. Variables such as family size, number of children in college, and family strength in assets - especially those saved in the student's name - mean that some families in a given income range receive more aid and others less.

Parent Total Income Range Average Scholarships & Grants Average Work & Loan Average Total Assistance
under $25,000 $43,140 $8,000 $51,140
$25,001-$50,000 $43,353 $8,000 $51,353
$50,001-$75,000 $39,929 $8,000 $47,929
$75,001-$100,000 $36,676 $8,000 $44,676
$100,001-$125,000 $32,141 $7,650 $39,791
$125,001-$150,000 $32,693 $7,511 $40,204
Over $150,000 $29,217 $6,871 $36,088

Again, every family situation is unique. Our financial aid staff works carefully with individual students and their families to accommodate special circumstances and to provide support and guidance throughout the financial aid process.