FAQ

Admission Classifications

What is a non-matriculated student?

Undergraduate and graduate non-matriculated students are classified as attending PLU part-time for a maximum of nine semester hours, but not officially admitted to the university or to a graduate-level degree program.

Students who attend other educational institutions and not yet accepted to PLU are classified as non-matriculate.  These students are required to submit the Summer Session Application Form.

However, students who have been accepted at PLU for the following Fall Session are also classified as non-matriculate if taking a summer course before official entrance to the university.

What are the maximum hours allowed in summer for a non-matriculated student?

Non-matriculated students are permitted to take up to a maximum of nine semester hours at PLU.

PLU will only accept up to nine semester hours of non-matriculated credit if a student is officially admitted to the university.

How does a non-matriculate student transfer the PLU hours back to the home institution?

Non-matriculated students attending PLU Summer Session are required to verify whether or not the course hours will transfer to their home institution.

PLU now offers the convenience of ordering your official transcripts online with a major credit card through the National Student Clearinghouse secure site, at http://www.studentclearinghouse.org/.

Online transcript requests are charged $5.00 for each transcript with a $2.25 handling fee for each order.  The site will walk you though placing your order, including delivery options.  You can order as many transcripts as you like in a single session.  Order updates will be emailed to you and you can track your order online.

A form is provided in the Student Services Center office if ordering official transcripts in person.  Cash, check, or money orders (made out to PLU) are accepted as payment.

Students may speak with Ellen Hodge, Transcript Coordinator, at 253.535.7133 for further information.

As a non-PLU student, how do I seek admission to the university?

If you wish to become an undergraduate or graduate student at PLU, contact the Office of Admission at 253.535.7151 or 1.800.274.5678.  Visit the the Office of Admission website at http://www.plu.edu/admission/first-year/ for further information.

I am a newly-admitted student for the Fall Semester, may I take a summer course?

Students who are newly-admitted for the following Fall Semester may take a summer course.  However, you must contact the Office of Admission on your intent to enroll in a summer course prior to your matriculation in the Fall Semester.

Contact the Office of Admission at 253.535.7151, by fax at 253.535.5136, or by email at admission@plu.edu.

Blended and Online Learning

What is a blended course like at PLU?

Blended courses utilize face-to-face and online learning options in a carefully designed mix of both.  The specific format of each blended course will depend on the learning objectives and style of the instructor.  Typically, a blended course includes significant online instruction and activities, so face-to-face meetings may be reduced to ensure the total workload still equals a traditional course.

What is an online course like at PLU?

In an online course, all instructional activities are completed through web-based interactions, with no face-to-face meetings occurring on campus.  Online courses achieve the same learning objectives as traditional courses, but include instructional activities tailored to be most effective in the online environment.  Online courses may include online modules, recorded lectures, assigned reading, online discussion group and independent activities, web conferences, and technology-enabled projects.

What are the benefits of selecting a blended course?

In a blended course, students have increased control over the time, place, pace, and path to achieving learning objectives.  Although the style of each blended course may vary, hallmarks of blended instruction often include increased collaboration with peers, one-on-one and small group interaction with instructors, and online activities that deepen and extend student learning.

What are the benefits of selecting an online course?

Online summer courses keep students connected to PLU during a time when they may be unable to traditionally complete courses on campus.  Many online courses meet general education requirements and provide more flexibility for scheduling.

What skills are necessary for online or blended learning?

Online and blended learning requires students to work somewhat independently.  Organization and time management are skills that help students to succeed in blended and online courses.  Students should be able to use Google email and tools along with the Sakai Learning Management System to complete course work.

What are the technology requirements for online or blended learning?

Online and blended courses require students to have access to a computer and high-speed internet connection.  Speakers or headphones along with a microphone or webcam are usually recommended.  Any specialized software or equipment required by the instructors will be communicated as needed.

Which courses are offered in an online or blended format?

Blended and online courses are noted in Banner with a BL or OL designation.  As the number of offerings begin to grow, these courses will also be listed on the PLUTO website.

What is the benefit of a summer course from PLU compared to one from a community college?

When taking a summer course from PLU, students maintain their connection to the PLU community.  Instructors are PLU faculty who have been trained in online learning and online courses adhere to the same standards as traditional PLU courses.  Plus, there are no extra worries about transferring credits or meeting PLU degree requirements.

Who should students contact for more information about an online or blended course?

Students can contact the Office of Academic Advising for general information about course selection and registration.  For course specific questions, student should directly contact the instructor.

What support services are available if students need help?

The Help Desk and Sakai support staff are committed to supporting online students in remote locations and should serve as the first point of contact for technology issues.  Support is available by phone and email during business hours.  Academic Assistance is also available in a limited capacity during the summer.  The Library’s website provides access to online resources and services, with research and reference support available by phone, email, or 24/7 chat service.  And, an online student resource guide will provide details on how to access support services.

Registration, Grades, and Transcripts

As a continuing PLU student, how do I register?

Current PLU students will register online through the Banner Web (https://banweb.plu.edu/).  Continuing students receive notification of an appointment time to register for Summer Session.

As a non-matriculated seeking student, how do I register?

Non-Matriculated, non-degree seeking students should register online via the Summer Session 2015 Registration Form (currently unavailable).  An accurate email address is required for PLU communication.

A notification email will be sent to the student upon receipt of the completed form.  The Office of Student Services will be responsible for manually registering non-matriculated, non-degree seeking students.  Once registration has been completed, a confirmation email will be sent to the student and will include a PLU ID and other pertinent institutional information.

What exceptions prevent online registration for courses?

Independent Study:
Independent study, cooperative education, and studio projects require an Independent Study Card.  You will need the signature of the course instructor and the department chair or dean.  Return the form to the Registrar’s Office no later than the last day to add classes for the term.

Auditing A Course:
Auditing a course means to attend a course but to receive no credit.  You will be billed for the course.  Have your instructor initial an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form and return the form to Student Services Center.

Courses Requiring Approval:
Some courses require the approval of the instructor, chair, or dean in order to take the course.  Have that person initial an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form and return the form to Student Services Center.

Course Load Exception:
Registering for more than five credits per Summer Session requires at least a 3.00 grade point average or the consent of the Registrar.  Pick up a Course Overload Form from the Student Services Center.  Return the form to the Student Services Center.

Thesis Courses:
TBD

Holds:
Holds are placed on student accounts for different reasons and prevent a student from registering, receiving official copies of transcripts or diplomas, adding/dropping a course, and many other things.  For more information about holds, visit the PLU Course Catalog at http://www.plu.edu/catalog/2014-2015/home.php and search for holds.

What is the course load for Summer Session?

Summer students are permitted to take one course, or five credit hours, per Summer Term with a total of two courses, or ten credit hours, within the Summer Session.

Registering for more than five credits per Summer Term requires at least a 3.00 grade point average or the consent of the Registrar. Interested students should submit a completed Summer Registration Overload Form to the Student Services Center.

How do I find my grades for a summer course?

Students who have been assigned a PLU ID number (ex: 1234-5678) may access Banner Web at https://banweb.plu.edu/ to view final grade for any course they have enrolled in during the summer.  Grades are available within 10 days of being submitted by professors and instructors.

How do I get my official transcript to be sent to my current university/college?

Official Transcripts

PLU now offers the convenience of ordering your official transcripts online with a major credit card through the National Student Clearinghouse secure site, at http://www.studentclearinghouse.org/.

Online transcript request are charged $5.00 for each transcript with a $2.25 handling fee for each order.  The site will walk you though placing your order, including delivery options.  You can order as many transcripts as you like in a single session.  Order updates will be emailed to you and you can track your order online.

A form is provided in the Student Services Center office if ordering official transcripts in person.  Cash, check, or money orders (made out to PLU) are accepted as payment.


Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial Transcripts are free and can be faxed, mailed, emailed or picked up in person with photo ID.

PLU students can access an Unofficial Transcript from their Banner Self-Service account at any time.  These transcripts will not include your name.

You must submit your request in writing or on our Unofficial Transcript Request Form.

Fax:  (253) 538-2545
Email:  transcripts@plu.edu

Mail:
ATTN: Transcripts
PLU Student Services Center
Tacoma, WA 98447

Transcript Coordinator:  (253) 535-7133
 or (800) 678-3243

Exceptions (courses requiring permission to enroll)

Independent Study

Independent study, cooperative education, and studio projects require an Independent Study Card.  You will need the signature of the course instructor and the department chair or dean.  Return the form to the Registrar’s Office no later than the last day to add classes for the term.

Audit

Auditing a course means to attend a course but to receive no credit.  You will be billed for the course.  Have your instructor initial an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form and return the form to Student Services Center.

Courses that Require Approval

Some courses require the approval of the instructor, chair, or dean in order to take the course.  Have that person initial an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form and return the form to Student Services Center.

Course Load Exceptions

Registering for more than five credits per Summer Session requires at least a 3.00 grade point average or the consent of the Registrar.  Pick up a Course Overload Form from the Student Services Center.  Return the form to the Student Services Center.

Tuition and Refund Policy

What is the undergraduate tuition for Summer Session?

The undergraduate tuition for Summer Session 2015 is $655 per credit hour for face-to-face and blended courses.  Some courses carry additional fees above the tuition (i.e., labs, discussions).

Tuition for online courses during the Summer Session 2015 is $360 per credit hour.

What is the graduate tuition for Summer Session?

The tuition for non-cohort graduate-level courses varies among the programs.  Students in cohort programs (Business, Education, and Nursing) should contact the respective program upon their admission.

What is the tuition for courses through the Wang Center for Global Education?

Tuition and fees for summer courses and programs through the Wang Center for Global Education vary.  Students must contact the Wang Center at 253.535.7577.

What is the tuition refund policy for withdrawal in Summer Session?

Tuition: 100% tuition refund up to the last day to add/drop without a fee for a specific Summer Session.  No tuition refund will be given after the last day to add/drop without a fee.

Fees: 100% refund prior to the first day of class.

Summer tuition refunds are not pro-rated.

Withdrawing from a single course after the last day of add/drop waives your right to a tuition and fee refund.  If you do not wish to continue a course after the add/drop period, you must withdraw from the course and must do so officially in order to avoid receiving a failing grade.  You must obtain the instructor’s signature on an Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form and submit it in person to the Student Services Center.

Students adding or withdrawing from a course(s) after the last day of add/drop during a semester/term will be charged a late registration change fee of $100.00 per transaction.  Students who are dropped for non-attendance by faculty are also charged $100.00 per add/drop.

Payments of Tuition and Fees

What are the available payment options for tuition?

Please note: There are no refunds for tuition and fees during Summer Session.

Students may choose to make student account payments in the following ways:

Online: Student and authorized payers may visit the Student Accounts web page at http://www.plu.edu/payments/ to make online payments by selecting the “Make a Payment” link.  If you have the PLU ID and Banner Pin, select the “Make a Payment on My Own Account” option, log in to Self-Service, select Student Services, then Student Accounts and click on “Make a Payment” link.

If you are a non-matriculated student or do NOT have the Banner Pin, please select the “Make a Payment on Behalf of Someone Else” option.  To make a payment using this option, you must have or know the student’s PLU ID.

Online payments may be made in the form of electronic check (new feature) or credit card.  Credit cards are subject to a 2.5% convenience fee.  There is no additional fee for electronic check payments.  The University currently accepts American Express, Discover, and MasterCard for payments to student accounts.

In-Person/Drop Box: Payment may be made in the form of cash; personal, business, or cashier’s check; or money order at the PLU Business Office in the Hauge Administration Building, Room 110.  After hours, payment may be left in the locked drop box located outside the Business Office.

Mail: Mail payments will the billing statement remittance stub to:

Pacific Lutheran University
Attn: Business Office Cashier
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98447

Payments by mail may be made in the form of personal or business, cashier’s check or money order. Checks should be made payable to Pacific Lutheran University. Please do not mail cash.

Phone: Phone payments may be made by calling the PLU interactive Voice Response System at 877.787.0661.  Payments may be made in the form of electronic check or credit card.  Credit card payments are subject to a 2.5% convenience fee.  There is no additional fee for electronic check payments.  The University currently accepts American Express, Discover, and MasterCard for payments to student accounts.

Wire: Payments may be made via wire by contracting the Student Accounts office at 253.535.7115 or acctsrec@plu.edu to obtain wiring instructions.

Please visit http://www.plu.edu/payments/ for additional payment information and options.

How secure is my online payment?

PLU websites adhere to payment card and banking industry standards.  E-Checks comply with NACHA standards.  Official Payments is the trusted payment services partner of the United States Internal Revenue Services, 25 state governments, the District of Columbia, more than 2,500 local and municipal government agencies, more than 400 colleges and universities, and other public and private interests in all 50 states.

Official Payments secures your personal information entered into their Website through Secure Sockets Lay (SSL) 128-bit encryption, which creates a protected connection between users and the Web server.  This means your card number and personal data are never sent over the Internet unencrypted.  Official Payments uses the best encryption technology available.

Card information is not passed to PLU and payment data is passed using hardware encryption. Transactions are processed using a leased-line connection to the card issuers.  Official Payments partners with VeriSign to ensure the highest level of security.

Is there a fee to pay online?

There is no fee if you pay for E-Check.  There is a 2.5% convenience fee if you pay with a debit or credit card.  The fee is added to your credit card payment.

What types of credit cards are accepted at PLU?

American Express, Discover, and MasterCard are currently accepted for payments at PLU.

Why can't I use my VISA card to pay tuition?

VISA does not allow percentage-based convenience fees for payments made to higher education institutions.  VISA is no longer accepted for student account payments.

However, VISA is still accepted at various locations on campus including the bookstore.

What happens if my credit card is declined?

If your card is declined, try entering your payment information again or using an E-Check or another credit card.  If your card is declined after several attempts, contact your issuing bank for additional information.

What is an E-Check?

An E-Check is an online electronic check.  Enter your checking account number and bank’s routing number to transfer funds from your designated bank account to the university.

What is ACH?

ACH is Automated Clearing House and is another term for E-Check.

Do I need checks to make an E-Check payment?

No.  You just need the routing number and bank account number for the account from which the payment will be deducted.

How do I find my routing number and my account number?

At the bottom, left side of each check you will find the nine-digit routing number.  The 1-17 digit account number will be next to it, followed by the check number.

You may also contact your bank for these numbers.

Does my debit card work like an E-Check?

No.  If you use the debit card number imprinted on the front of the card, the transaction will be treated like a credit card transaction and you will be charged the 2.5% convenience fee.  To avoid paying the fee, use the E-Check option and pay out of the bank account associated with your debit card.

What happens if my E-Check is returned for insufficient funds?

A hold will be placed on your account, you will incur a $30 returned E-Check fee, and possibly late fees as well.

How will the convenience fee show on my credit card statement?

When your payment is ready to submit online, the list of charges and the calculated 2.5% convenience fee will be itemized.  Your credit card statement, however, will show a single combined total.

Will I receive a confirmation of my electronic payment?

If you pay via the Internet, you will be issued an onscreen digital receipt which can be printed as your record of confirmation and transaction.  Additionally, if you provide an email address you will receive an email verification on your online payment.

May I make a make a credit card payment at the PLU Business Office?

No.  The Business Office does not accept over-the-counter credit card payments.  Paying online with a credit card is a more secure process because no one needs to know your credit card number.  Only cash and paper check are accepted in the Business Office for payments to student accounts.

Who do I contact if my payment doesn't appear on my credit card or bank statement?

Call the Business Office Cashier at 253.535.7117 between the hours of 8am to 5pm.

What happens if I get a refund?

If you qualify for a refund on any part of your credit card payment, the refund will be applied back onto your credit card and the convenience fee that is applicable to that amount will be refunded to your credit card.

How can I pay from overseas?

PLU’s electronic payment processing partner, Official Payments, accepts international based American Express, Discover, and MasterCard payments from customers living overseas.

General Information

Where do I park and do I need a parking pass?

In the summer a student does not have to register a car with Campus Safety.

Parking is easiest in the parking lot along Park Avenue between Garfield and Wheeler Streets, located across from the library.  Parking is also available on the lower campus at 10th Avenue by the Morken Center and Facilities Management.

As a free service, Campus Safety provides walking escorts to PLU commuters at all hours to all sites on campus and to specially-designated off-campus locations.  For further information, please call Campus Safety’s non-emergency line at 253.535.7441.

Where may I buy books and supplies at PLU?

The Garfield Book Company (PLU Bookstore) sells all academic textbooks and supplies.  The store is stocked full of school supplies, computer software, and is the single best source for PLU clothing and gear.  A Scandinavian and Free Trade section is also available at the bookstore.

The Garfield Book Company is located at the corner of Pacific Hwy and Garfield Street, next door to Farrelli’s restaurant.

How do I acquire a student ID Card?

ID cards, dubbed “LuteCards,” are made at the Campus Concierge desk in the University Center.  Bring proof of identity to have your picture taken and a card issued to you.  Non-matriculated students will be required to have their student ID number with them as well.

It is important that you have a valid LuteCard to cash checks on campus, print from a library computer, use a student photocopy machine, check books out of the library, access any computer lab, and use “swipes” from your Lute Card if you have purchased a meal plan.

For further questions, contact the Concierge Desk at 253.535.7411.

Where may I buy food while on campus?

The Commons
University Center

The Old Main Market
University Center

The Tahoma Bakery and Cafe
Columbia Center

The Kelley Cafe
Morken Center

Hauge Espresso Cart
Hauge Administration Building

All locations accept Dining Dollars, LuteBuck$, Cash, and VISA/MasterCard.

As a commuter student, are there places for me to relax and study?

There are several lounges on the campus.

The University Center has an open lounge on the lower level beneath and behind the stairwell area.

Lounges especially designed for off-campus students are found on the upper-level of the Hauge Administration Building, the first floor of the Rieke Science Center, the main lounge of Hinderlie hall, and the University Gallery in Ingram Hall.

How can I fax or copy a document on campus?

Copy machines are available for student use in the Mortvedt Library, the Rieke Science Center, and across from the Concierge desk in the University Center.  Each machine is equipped with a kiosk at which you would swipe your LuteCard to pay for the copies.  Money may be added to your LuteCard at the Concierge desk, the bookstore or at the LuteCard Web site.  Copies cost $0.06 cents per page.

A fax machine (#253.535.7315) for students is available behind the front desk of the Mortvedt Library.  Cost is$0.50 cents to receive a page, $2 to send a page domestically, and $4 to send a page internationally.

You are required to put your own phone number on the fax form for all transmittals in order to ensure that the library will be able to contact you regarding information about the fax.

Where can I cash a check or find an ATM?

Personal checks (between $5 and $50) may be chased at the Cashier’s Desk in the Business Office located in the Hauge Administration Building.  You must have a valid PLU ID. the Cashier’s Desk is open business days from 8am until 4pm.

PLU’s on-campus Wells Fargo ATM is located in the upper level of the University Center.  Bank Cards are accepted from U.S. Bank, Key Bank, Seattle First, Pacific First, Security Pacific Bank, Armed Forces Financial Network, and all cards from CIRRUS, The Exchange, PLUS, and ACCEL systems, as well as VISA and MasterCard.

University Policies

What are my Rights and Responsibilities?

Upon registration, the student and the student’s parents/legal guardian agree to accept the responsibility and legal obligation to pay all charges for tuition, room, meal, and other special fees incurred or to be incurred for the student’s education.  Pacific Lutheran University agrees to make available to the student certain educational programs and to provide the use of certain university facilities as applicable and as described in the course catalog.

A failure to pay all university bills when due shall release the university of any obligation to continue to provide the applicable educational benefits and services including, but not limited to, statements of honorable dismissal, grade reports, transcripts of records, diplomas, and pre-registrations.  The student shall also be denied admittance to classes and the use of university facilities in the event of financial default.

For a copy of the Pacific Lutheran University policies and procedures, please visit the Office of the Provost web site at http://www.plu.edu/provost/ for information on Academic Procedures, Computer Use Policies, Student Conduct, University Guidelines and University Policy.  You may also reference the University Guidelines in the PLU Catalog at http://www.plu.edu/catalog/2014-2015/home.php.

What is FERPA Policy?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and is popularly known as the “Buckley Amendment”. Pacific Lutheran University has adopted a policy to protect the privacy of a student’s education records.

This act also establishes the rights of parents and currently enrolled, eligible students to inspect and review their education records; and provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.

Parents and currently enrolled, eligible students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually by publication in the PLU Student Handbook.  Interested parties may review the policy in the Office for Student Life, Hauge Administration Building, Room 105.

Visit the Student Life web site for further information at http://www.plu.edu/student-life/.

What is the Compliance Statement?

Pacific Lutheran University is committed to providing equal opportunity in education for all students without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or any other status protected by law. The University will not tolerate any discrimination, harassment, or abuse of or toward any member of the university community.

What is the Disclaimer Statement?

The information contained herein reflects an accurate picture of Pacific Lutheran University at the time of publication.  However, the University reserves the right to make necessary changes in procedures, policies, calendar, curriculum, and costs.