The Luther College is a private liberal arts college that is situated in Decorah, Iowa. The college was established as a Lutheran seminary in 1861 by Norwegian immigrants. Currently the school is an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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LRT Sports spoke with two admission counselors, Anndi Russell and Jessica Snover, see below
Admission Counselor: Anndi Russell
How much does being an athlete affect the admissions process?
Being an athlete affects the admissions process a lot. Coaches are the primary recruiting contact, and as an admissions counselor I take on a supporting/logistical role.
What are the qualities you look for when taking on a student-athlete?
I like to see students who aren’t focused on the “glory” of being an athlete. Students who have a wide variety of interests and demonstrate that they care about critically thinking about their lives and the world, in addition to caring about bettering themselves through their sport.
What will set a student-athlete’s application apart from the general applicants or other student-athletes?
Student-athletes who demonstrate a care for the world and for other people set themselves apart from other student-athletes. Student-athletes have the ability to demonstrate how their experience as a member of a team has made them a better person, and how pushing themselves physically leads to growth in general.
Does an early admission application carry more weight/have a different priority in your acceptance process?
No. We evaluate applicants equally regardless of when they apply.
Would your institution recommend that a student-athlete come in for an interview? If so, when would you recommend they start this process?
As an admissions counselor, an interview is a chance for me to get to know a bit of where the student is coming from, which can allow me to advocate for their admission or for a certain scholarship. Early in a student’s senior year is a good time to start, but it remains valuable throughout their whole senior year.
What GPA/SAT/ACT would your institution recommend that a student-athlete shoot for?
What percentage of student-athletes receive financial aid?
Our athletes are held to the same standard as any other applicant (3.0 GPA, 1020 SAT, 21 ACT).
What is the best way for student-athletes to start the financial aid process if they need financial aid?
Same way as any other student. Submit the FAFSA (early is better, but we will accept it at any time). We will send out our financial aid packages for athletes along with all other applicants, in early spring semester.
What is your institution’s policy on financial aid? Does it differ for scholar athletes?
No difference for athletes.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to a student-athlete who has your institution number one on their list?
Don’t write an essay about winning your football championship. Or, if you do, add something more interesting to it! What did you learn about a teammate, how will this shape your world view moving forward, how to your sport teach you a lesson that you applied elsewhere in life, etc.. Better yet, use your essay as an opportunity to highlight your other accomplishments! Our coaches know that you’re a good athlete. Our admissions counselors want to know more about you.
What makes your athletic program stand out?
Our student-athletes are heavily involved outside of their sport. They are well-rounded in their interests, and high achieving academically.
Admission Counselor: Jessica Snover
LRT Sports: How much does being an athlete affect the admissions process?
It for sure helps sometimes, if you have more than one person advocating for a student and you see they have been involved through high school, we like that.
LRT Sports: What are the qualities you look for when taking on a student-athlete?
Dedicated to academics and athletics, passionate, hard working, time management skills
LRT Sports: What will set a student-athlete’s application apart from the general applicants or other student-athletes?
Actually, this unfortunately is not the best but, when students write essays about the “big game” or something related to athletics, what we call a “ball is life” essay without connecting it back to them personally it can hurt them. We want to learn about the student, not the game they won UNLESS it impacts them personally in a positive/negative way
LRT Sports: Does an early admission application carry more weight/have a different priority in your acceptance process?
No, it just gets you in earlier, financial aid earlier and makes the student able to make a decision quicker
LRT Sports: Would your institution recommend that a student-athlete come in for an interview? If so, when would you recommend they start this process?
YES! Interviews can really be important to the college admissions process but even more so for athletes. Some are maybe not strong students and some are scholar athletes, we want to get to know the student and the student should get to know more about the college so they can make a fair decision not just based on athletics.
LRT Sports: What GPA/SAT/ACT would your institution recommend that a student-athlete shoot for?
What percentage of student-athletes receive financial aid?
3.0/ 1080 SAT/ 21 to 23 ACT
That’s what an average student looks like.
LRT Sports: What is the best way for student-athletes to start the financial aid process if they need financial aid?
Being DIII we are unable to award scholarship based on athletics which means Merit based scholarships will be super important, keep those grades up and work hard on and off the field.
LRT Sports: What is your institution’s policy on financial aid? Does it differ for scholar athletes?
Unfortunately no, no athletics scholarships can be given at the DIII level.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice you can give to a student-athlete who has your institution number one on their list?
Work hard in your classes, don’t scoot by senior year because it’s easier. challenge yourself, take on leadership roles on your teams and get involved in your community in other ways too. Being well rounded never hurt anyone.
LRT Sports: What makes your athletic program stand out?
They care so deeply about their athletes, they are students first and are here to get degrees and then they are here to play the game they are passionate about.
Posted on January 20, 2020 in Exclusive
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.