Recognizing that many students who want to attend Pacific Lutheran University would be unable to meet all expenses of enrollment from personal or family sources, the university attempts to provide financial assistance to all eligible students. Any student approved for enrollment or currently enrolled may request financial aid. Approximately 95 percent of the university’s students receive help in the form of gift assistance (that is, scholarships, artistic achievement awards, or grants), low-interest deferred loans, or employment. In many cases, a financial aid award will be a combination of these forms of assistance.
Financial assistance is available to all qualified students regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.
The offer of financial aid is based on the cost of attendance, which is the university’s estimate of how much it costs students in various circumstances to attend PLU. A student’s resources are subtracted from this estimated cost to determine financial need. The cost of attendance may vary, as it takes into account a student's tuition, the cost of books and supplies, housing, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
A student's resources include parents' contributions (for all dependent students) as computed by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is based on a federally-established formula for determining parental and student ability to contribute toward the student's education. Spouses of married students are also expected to contribute toward their spouse's educational expenses.
If students or their families have unusual circumstances that cannot be reflected on the FAFSA (such as loss of employment or major medical expenses), the Office of Financial Aid should be contacted. The student may qualify for additional assistance when unusual circumstances are considered. Unusual circumstances must be provided in writing, with the student's name, student PLU ID number, and all documentation requested. The 2013-2014 Special Circumstances Request Form may be found online at: www.plu.edu/financial-aid/.
All applicants are offered the maximum amount of aid for which they qualify, as program limitations and funds permit. Students who receive scholarships from sources outside the university must inform the Office of Financial Aid in writing with the name of the scholarship and its yearly award amount. PLU may be required by federal regulations to adjust a financial aid package when an outside scholarship is received. Loans and work study will be adjusted first. Scholarships and grants will be adjusted only as a last resort and only when required by federal regulations.