PLU Residency Requirement

Campus Life will be moving to the following Residency Requirement, applicable to all incoming students, beginning Academic Year 2024-2025.

Pacific Lutheran University requires that all full-time students live in university housing unless the student meets one of the following criteria:

  • Live at home with a parent in Pierce County or in the following approved zip codes. Please see the attached document for approved zip codes located outside of Pierce County
  • Is at least 20 years of age on or before September 1 to be exempt for the academic year, or on or before February 1 to be exempt for the spring semester.
  • Enrolled in and completed at least 4 full semesters at Pacific Lutheran University; includes full semester study away programs, excludes J-term and Summer.
  • Living with a spouse or child [copy of marriage or birth certificate required].

A student enrolled at the University and living off-campus that does not meet the criteria listed above and without approval from the Department of Residential Life is in violation of this policy, and will be held responsible for room and meal charges for that period and will be required to move on-campus for the remainder of their time.

Students with an admit term prior to Fall 2024 will remain subject to the Residency Requirement active at the time of their admit term. Please refer  to the Residential Life Residency Requirement page for more information.

Living at-home or off campus can often appear to be your least expensive option and can often be one the most important factors in the decision-making process. However, before you decide, take the time to run the numbers to make sure this is true for you.

Why Live On-Campus?

  • Students who live on campus are more likely to graduate than non-residential students. (This is a big one!)
  • Residential students traditionally show a stronger connection to, and greater involvement in, their college or university.
  • Residential students are taught the life skills necessary for living with one another and in a community (compromise, communication, civility, responsibility, accountability…)
  • One payment covers rent, utilities (heat, water, electrical, refuse), wireless internet, laundry services, and cable TV. “Rent” is paid to PLU through Student Accounts, and Financial Aid is factored in.
  • For upper-division students, PLU also offers single and apartment-style living options that incorporate the best of both worlds.

Things to Consider - Living At Home

  • Financial Aid – Check with Student Financial Aid Services to determine the amount of gift that may be lost if costs are reduced by living at home
  • Consider Costs – Be sure to consider the financial costs of transportation (gas, parking pass, etc.), food, and utilities
  • Time – How much time will be spent commuting? How might this impact time to study, access to resources etc.?
  • Transportation – Will you transportation to and from campus always be reliable? Do you have a back up plan if your primary transportation fails?
  • Study Environment – Is your home environment conducive towards your academic success?

Things to Consider - Living Off Campus

  • Cost of Living – Is a year of rent cheaper than living on campus? What amenities aren’t included in your rent?
    • Think about: utilities. garbage, internet/wifi, laundry, food, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Safety – How does on campus safety compare with what would be available in an off campus residence?
  • Lifestyle – Will you be shopping, cooking, and cleaning for yourself? How might having roommates impact your living style?
    • Reminder that sharing a house isn’t always easier than sharing a room on campus. Shared space can be equally difficult to navigate!
  • Transportation – Will you transportation to and from campus always be reliable? Do you have a back up plan if your primary transportation fails?