Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship

The Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship is an endowed scholarship open to candidates entering their senior year, or graduate students pursuing endorsements in Special Education or Early Childhood Special Education. Funding for this award will vary from year, but will have a range of $4,500 and up per individual award. Candidates must apply by March 7th to be considered for an award in the following academic year.

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 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.

Lloyd and LaVerne Paff established this scholarship in memory of their daughter, Shereen, as a fitting way to continue the work she loved.

Criteria for Selection:
To be considered the recipient must:
  1. Be seeking an endorsement in Special Education and have attained the undergraduate status of Senior, or be a Master's candidate.
  2. Have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  3. Have completed a minimum of 16 credit hours in the Special Education program (BAE candidates will have achieved this by the end of summer before senior year, MAE candidates will complete this through the Summer online SPED program), with at least a 3.5 GPA in that program.
  4. 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 toward youth activity; and possess the potential to be an outstanding educator by demonstrating the qualities of inspirational and academic leadership.
  5. Must demonstrate financial need.
  6. Be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Education program, or have submitted their application to the Master of Arts in Education with Residency Certification or the Master of Arts in Education - Alternative Routes to Certification Program.
Paff Scholarship Funding:
  • Funding 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.
  • Awards will range from $4,500 and up depending on the number of qualified applicants and the amount of available funds for the year.
  • Recipients will be notified in mid to late March if they are selected to receive a Paff Scholarship.

Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship Application Form

Please Complete the following information:








(Senior, Graduate, ect.)

Essay Requirement

Criteria for Selection:
To be considered the recipient must:
  1. Be seeking an endorsement in Special Education and have attained the undergraduate status of Senior, or be a Master's candidate.
  2. Have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  3. Have completed a minimum of 16 credit hours in the Special Education program (BAE candidates will have achieved this by the end of summer before senior year, MAE candidates will complete this through the Summer online SPED program), with at least a 3.5 GPA in that program.
  4. 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 toward youth activity; and possess the potential to be an outstanding educator by demonstrating the qualities of inspirational and academic leadership.
  5. Must demonstrate financial need.
  6. Be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Education program, or have submitted their application to the Master of Arts in Education with Residency Certification or the Master of Arts in Education - Alternative Routes to Certification Program.

Please write a short essay (1000 words or less) describing your passion for working with children who have disabilities. Read the criteria for the selection above and be sure to address item four.

You can upload the essay below, or send a hard copy to the Education Office:

Education Department 
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98447



Recommendation Letter

Please submit one letter of recommendation from someone who can speak to your involvement with children who have disabilities.

You can upload the letter below or you can send it to the Education Office:

Education Department
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98447



Demonstration of Financial Need

To qualify for the Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship, the applicant must show demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be completed online (website: fafsa.ed.gov) beginning January 1st for the next academic year. 

PLU's school code is 003785.

Questions about the process can be directed to the Student Financial Service Office 253-535-7161

Signature of Agreement

I agree that the information enclosed in this form is accurate. By electronically signing this statement. I understand that this information is for use by Pacific Lutheran University's School of Education and Kinesiology for purposes of awarding the Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship only.

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