Financial Aid & Scholarships

Each year Pacific Lutheran University awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to new applicants in the Rainier Writing Workshop. The number and amount of the scholarships vary depending on the qualifications of the candidates. 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.

“I can’t say enough good about the program. It’s been a great light in my life.”

These awards are named for Linda Bierds, a distinguished poet residing in the Pacific Northwest who has taught for many years in the Rainier Writing Workshop, and in memory of Carol Houck Smith, a longtime friend of literature and senior editor at W.W. Norton.

Award amount: Up to $5,000

Deadline: February 15

Number of awards: Varies

Criteria: All incoming students to the MFA program can be considered for these scholarships. Interested students must complete a brief application.

Terms of the award: One-time award disbursed over the student’s two or three years in the program, contingent on satisfactory academic performance.

How to apply: Submit the scholarship application by the deadline. The application for the MFA program must also be completed by the scholarship deadline.

This award is named in honor of the award-winning writer and emeritus PLU Professor.

Award amount: Up to $1,500

Number of awards: One

Criteria: All eligible students are automatically considered – this award is designated for incoming students from working-class backgrounds and with demonstrated financial need.

Terms of the award: This scholarship is awarded for one year only.

How to apply: No separate application is necessary to be considered for this award. Program applications and materials will be used to determine the recipient.

Graduate Assistantship

The graduate assistantship program offers MFA 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: Up to $2,000

Number of awards: Varies

Criteria: Students with skills in editing and proofreading, publishing, and other administrative work will be considered for the assistantship.

Terms of the award: Students engage in off-campus work-study, helping the MFA program with various administrative tasks. Payment is based on their hourly work as student employees. Assistantships are considered taxable income and may be renewed yearly.

How to applyNo separate application is necessary to be considered for an assistantship.  Program applications and materials will be used to determine the recipient.

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.