By Zach Powers '10
PLU Marketing & Communications
TACOMA, WASH. (Dec. 9, 2015)- Pacific Lutheran University admission representatives will begin spreading the word on Tuesday, Dec. 15, about the new 253 PLU Bound Scholarship.
Admission Office staff members will fan out on that day and talk with area high school students, teachers and counselors to share information about the scholarship, which awards students who qualify with full tuition for four years at PLU by a combination of federal, state, and PLU grant and scholarship aid.
First-year students beginning at PLU in fall 2016 will be the first eligible to receive the scholarship.
The 253 PLU Bound Scholarship will be awarded to College Bound Scholarship eligible students who attend a high school within the 253 area code, have a 3.70 or better cumulative high school GPA, and will be entering PLU as first-year students.
“This scholarship helps with two very important things,” said Matt Burns, a counselor at Tacoma’s Wilson High School. “It can be the scholarship some kids need to get to college, and as a counselor I can use it to encourage and motivate students who are on the fence between being pretty good students and working as hard as they can to be really strong students.”
PLU has a long history of awarding full tuition scholarships to local students and students from all over the state who are College Bound eligible. The Washington State Legislature enacted the College Bound Scholarship (wsac.wa.gov/college-bound) to provide college financial assistance to seventh- and eighth-grade students who meet eligibility requirements.
PLU administrators say that a big part of launching and engaging in local outreach about the 253 PLU Bound Scholarship is to make it clear to local low-income high school students and their families that PLU is accessible to them.
“PLU has awarded these sorts of scholarship funds to local students for decades, but we’ve also found that many prospective students who grew up nearby don’t consider PLU because of the private school price tag,” Director of Admission Melody Ferguson said.
“We’re working to dispel that myth, both by continuing to make sure that PLU is allocating ample funding for scholarship dollars and getting out into the community to share with students how they can take advantage of these funds as well as other scholarship and grant opportunities.”
Currently there are 700 students enrolled at PLU from the over 50 253 area code high schools who receive $13.2 million in annual gift aid from PLU ($18,905.33 per student average). 118 of the 700 are College Bound students. The annual total gift aid those College Bound students receive from PLU is more than $1.9 million ($16,847.66 average).
“PLU has always been a great supporter of our middle and lower income students,” Burns said.