Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Master of Arts in Education program offers various scholarships and financial aid awards for students. Please select from which type you’d like to view. You may also look into federal, military aid, or external scholarships to support your graduate studies.

These scholarships aim to increase the number of underrepresented students in the program and classroom and support those who plan to teach in high-needs areas

Award amount: from $5,000 – $20,000
Number of awards: The number of awards varies depending on the qualifications of the candidates.
Terms of the award: These scholarships are awarded for 1 year and have the possibility of renewal for 2 consecutive years


  1. Students applying to the MAE with certification program may apply for this scholarship.
  2. Preference will be given to under-represented students, specifically minority students and/or students seeking an endorsement in a high-need area. (i.e. math, science, special education, or English language learners).
  3. The applicant must have a 3.25 minimum cumulative GPA in a previous degree, on a 4.0 scale.

Application Deadline: February 1
Applications received after the deadline will only be considered if funds are available.

How to apply:
To apply for the Excellence in Education Graduate Scholarship, please submit the following items:

  1. A completed application to study in the MAE with certification program
  2. Excellence in Education Graduate Scholarship application form (submit it online)
  3. A scholarship application essay
    • Respond to this question: Describe how your diverse experience shaped your understanding of social justice. Explain how this will influence your future as an educator.
    • No more than 5 pages, double-spaced
    • Upload the essay to the online scholarship application form
  4. A letter of recommendation
    • The letter should address your community, civic, and multicultural engagement.
    • This is a separate letter of recommendation from the two you will submit with your program application.
    • Please send the link to the online recommendation form to your recommender, and ask that the form be submitted by February 1.

The CS-STEM Teacher program provides forgivable loans from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The program aims to increase the number of teachers prepared to teach in engaging, intellectually, and culturally responsive ways; connect STEM content to students’ lives, communities, and the world; and are committed to equitable teaching in high-need schools.

Award Amount: Up to $21,700

Criteria & Requirements:

  • Have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in a STEM field
  • Participate in Equity Seminars while in the MAE program
  • Earn a Master’s Degree through the PLU MAE program with a science or mathematics endorsement
  • Teach science or mathematics for 2 years in middle school or high school in a high-need school district
  • Participate in a CS-STEM Induction program during their first year of teaching

Pacific Lutheran University is privileged to partner with The Martinez Fellowship to offer scholarships to graduate students of color who wish to become teachers and help eliminate the opportunity gap in Washington public schools.

The Martinez Fellowship Program was established by Holli and Edgar Martinez in 2008. It is managed by the Network for EdWork powered by the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and supports Teachers of Color through their graduate level of school, early career coaching, and ongoing professional development. The Martinez Fellowship is dedicated to closing the opportunity gap by improving teacher diversity and the retention of teachers of color in Washington State.

Martinez Fellows are exceptional teachers and leaders in Education. They are committed to the highest standards of professionalism. They strive to excel in the profession of teaching and leadership. Fellows are committed to the success of every student in their classroom. They are passionately committed to Social Justice in Education, and eager to engage in an ongoing collaborative learning community with other Fellows. Lastly, Fellows come from various experiences and communities. They come together around their shared passion for teaching; through a multicultural lens, eliminating the achievement/opportunity gap in Washington State’s most under-served schools.

Award amount: The amount will vary depending on the number of qualified applicants.
Deadline: March 1
Number of awards: The number of awards varies depending on the qualifications of the candidates.


  • Compatibility with the mission of PLU’s School of Education: “The Professional Education Programs at PLU aim to cultivate the intellect, not just for its own sake, but also as a tool of conscience and an instrument for service. In supporting this mission, departmental faculty members and candidates seek to model the values of competence, care, difference, leadership, and service. We strive to honor these core values in pursuit of excellence and in the cultivation of personal, supportive relationships with students, colleagues in neighboring schools, districts, faculty within PLU, and with other universities.”
  • Evidence of excellence or potential for excellence in teaching, scholarship, or leadership in professional education
  • Expressed commitment to The Martinez Fellowship
  • Identify racially as a person of color (those who self-identify racially as non-white)
  • Demonstration of financial need (preferred)
  • There are several service commitments expected of recipients.

Terms of the award: The Martinez Fellowship Scholarship is an annual, non-recurring award. Scholarships are awarded per year.

How to apply: Visit the Martinez Fellowship website for more information on the Fellows program and apply here by March 1.

Lloyd and LaVerne Paff established this scholarship in memory of their daughter, Shereen, as a fitting way to continue the work she loved. Shereen Paff devoted her life to the improvement of education for children. Her vocation enabled her to realize her life ambition, primarily, to work with children who had disabilities, and secondly, to work with children who were gifted. Shereen and the children loved one another because of her empathy with them. Often, upon entering a classroom, she would greet the instructor and then go directly to the children to talk with them.

Award amount: Funding for this award will vary from year to year, but will have a range of $4,500 and up per individual award.
Number of awards: The number of awards varies depending on the qualifications of the candidates.
Deadline: March 7


  • Must have applied to the MAE-Teacher Residency Certification or MAE-Alternative Routes, or be a current BAE student.
  • Have a 3.5 GPA
  • Must be seeking an endorsement in Special Education.
  • Earn a minimum of 16 credit hours in the PLU Special Education program during the summer with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA before the award will be disbursed.
  • Recipients must devote their energies toward providing a quality education experience for students with exceptional needs; demonstrate the ability to establish empathy and maintain quality relationships with children; evidence outside community involvement, with emphasis on youth activity; and possess the potential to be an outstanding educator by demonstrating the qualities of inspirational and academic leadership.
  • Demonstration of financial need

Terms of the award: Funds from the Paff Scholarship will be distributed Fall and Spring of the school year. All funding is conditional upon fulfilling the criteria listed above by the end of Summer. Recipients will be notified in mid to late March if they are selected to receive a Paff Scholarship.

How to apply: Detailed instructions on the application requirements can be found on the Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship Application.

The graduate assistantship program offers graduate students an opportunity to participate in academic and administrative activities that will enhance their graduate education experience, as well as provide financial assistance.

Award amount: Varies depending on responsibilities of the appointment. Students received payment based on their hourly work as student employees. Assistantships are considered taxable income.
Number of awards: The number of awards vary depending on the qualifications of the candidates.

  • Compatibility with the mission of PLU’s School of Education and Kinesiology.
  • Evidence of excellence or potential for excellence in teaching, scholarship, or leadership in professional education.

Terms of the award: Students are required to provide service to the university through assistance with academic and administrative activities. Terms of service will depend on the position.
How to apply: Admitted students should complete the application form and submit a current resume directly to the Education Department.
Education Graduate Assistantship Application Form

The PLU Grant provides a 10 percent discount on tuition for graduate applicants who graduated from PLU with a bachelor’s degree or higher and enroll in a PLU graduate-level degree or approved master’s level certificate program. Restrictions apply to those students who are also PLU employees. The discount begins immediately upon admission.