PLU Pledge: A Lute Loan Safety Net

PLU Pledge: A Lute Loan Safety Net

We believe in the value of a PLU education and that students pursuing higher education are making an investment in themselves and in their future.  The costs of college and the idea of student debt, however – especially at a private university like PLU – can be concerning and even overwhelming to students and their families. That’s why we’re excited to offer the PLU Pledge: A Lute Loan Safety Net.

The PLU Pledge is a loan repayment assistance program, a safety net, we offer for incoming first-year students* for the 2023-24 academic year. Once you are employed after graduation, if you earn less than $51,000 per year, we will help you repay your student (and parent PLUS) loans until you do.

*This does not include incoming first-year students intending to major in Nursing or international students

The PLU Pledge covers all federal direct and private alternative student loans, as well as parent PLUS loans.

PLU Pledge Eligibility

  • Must sign up for the PLU Pledge at
  • Must graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from PLU
  • After graduation:
    • Must be employed an average of 30 hours/week and earn less than $51,000/year
    • Must work in the U.S. and cannot be working for family

PLU Pledge Reimbursement Levels

$20,000 or less100%
$50,000 or more0%

Loans at PLU

Average PLU student loan debt: $29,274
Average national student loan debt: $28,565
Average national private school student loan debt: $33,500

Percentage of PLU students who take out loans: 65.5%
National percentage of students who take out loans: 57%

Median PLU parent debt: $31,874
Percentage of PLU parents who take out loans: 21.5%

PLU statistics from the 2019-20 graduating year
National statistics from “Average Student Loan Debt Statistics, Class of 2018” and “Trends in Student Aid 2019”

Frequently Asked Questions

We believe in the value of our education and in preparing students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care. We also know that students and families have concerns about the cost of college and student debt. The PLU Pledge is yet another way we are addressing college access and affordability, and a further investment we are making in the success of our students and their ability to fully pursue their vocation after graduation.

There is no charge to be a part of the PLU Pledge. We are offering this program as a commitment to our graduates.

The PLU Pledge will cover up to $17,000 in any academic year and an aggregated total of $75,000.

If you are an incoming first-year student* it’s easy to sign up for the PLU Pledge at Even if you are not planning to take out loans for your first year, but may in subsequent years, you must sign up as a first year to take advantage of the PLU Pledge benefits.

*This does not include incoming first-year students intending to major in Nursing

PLU Nursing graduates have a nearly 100% success rate in finding employment in the nursing field soon after graduation, and their average beginning salary is well above the threshold to be eligible for the PLU Pledge.

If a nursing student changes their major, they can then enroll in the PLU Pledge for student and parent PLUS loans taken on in the next academic year after they have changed their major.

You are still responsible for paying your student loans, and responsible for submitting the necessary paperwork for repayment assistance. The loan repayment assistance is provided as a quarterly (4x per year) reimbursement after the loan payments are made. If your income is less than the lower threshold of $20,000, you will qualify for full (100%) reimbursement. If your income is between the lower ($20,000) and upper ($51,000) income thresholds, you will qualify for proportional assistance (see the chart on the page above).

Parent PLUS loan reimbursements are based entirely on the graduate’s income (not the parents’ income), and reimbursements can be paid directly to the parent.

Assistance continues until your income surpasses $51,000 or until your loans are completely paid off.

We allow students in these situations to pause their eligibility under our program while they complete graduate school or pursue up to 3 years of international work.

The PLU Pledge does not remove the responsibility for students and parents to repay their loans, but it does serve as a safety net for those who start out their careers with modest salaries. We do not believe that it will drive higher loan amounts, but instead allow students and parents to borrow the necessary funds to attend and graduate from PLU.

The PLU Pledge is closely aligned with the university’s mission to educate students to live lives of purpose in the world, and to be able focus on their callings, their passions and their vocation, rather than on the salary that may come with it.

Absolutely not. The purpose of the PLU Pledge is to allow our graduates to pursue their first choice career and not to artificially create a situation where they receive assistance.

The nominal reduction in tuition would not remove the need for student and parent loans, and therefore the PLU Pledge is a better solution for supporting our students’ enrollment, retention, and future success after graduation.

It’s really more of a safety net. We prepare students to follow their dreams, their callings. Even though over 90% of our recent graduates are employed or in graduate school, we know that some will still need and use this safety net to pursue their passions and highest ambitions.

Please contact the Office of Admission at 253-535-7151 or with any additional questions about the PLU Pledge: A Lute Loan Safety Net. For more specific Terms & Conditions, please see the Terms & Conditions webpage.