Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Marriage and Family Therapy 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.

Each year Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) awards a limited number of scholarships (between $2000 to $8000) to new students in the MFT program. These awards are named for Charles D. York and Cheryl L. Storm who were influential in the founding and shaping of the MFT program at PLU.

Award amount: up to $8,000

Number of awards: Varies

Eligibility: All students applying to the MFT program may apply for these scholarships.

Terms of the award: These scholarships are awarded for one year and renewed for a second year by maintaining good standing in the program demonstrated by at least a 3.0 GPA and professional suitability and demeanor. In addition, renewal is dependent upon providing an update to the committee by April 1 of the year following the award on how the scholarship has been beneficial and what the recipient has been able to accomplish by having the scholarship.

Application Procedure:

Scholarship eligibility questions are included in the admission application. No separate application is needed.

To be considered for scholarship, you will be asked to provide a short response (no more than three paragraphs) to each of the following questions:

  1. Provide an example from your life that demonstrates your commitment and passion for helping others from marginalized groups.
  2. Explain how you have financed your education thus far and how the scholarship would help you accomplish your professional goals.

Use the Documents section in the GradCAS application portal to upload your responses before or after you submit the admission application. It can be in MS Word or PDF format.

The scholarship questions are not required for submitting the admission application. You can upload your responses after you have submitted your application by logging into your GradCAS account. Scholarships will only be considered if you have provided responses to the questions.

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.

A limited number of assistantships are available during academic year. Full awards are very rare. In general, assistantships awards are for interactions and opportunities involving time commitments between five and ten hours per week.

These opportunities include:

  • Graduate fellows assigned to programmatic projects or on-campus clinic.
  • Collaboration with faculty on research projects for professional publications.
  • Clinic and Program Coordinator or Assistant Coordinator positions in the on-campus clinic.

Award amount: A limited number of paid assistantships are available during the academic year. In general, paid assistantships involve time commitments of five to ten hours per week, and a payment between $900 and $1,900 per semester, available only during the first two semesters. Students received payment based on their hourly work as student employees. Assistantships are considered taxable income.

Number of awards: Varied

Eligibility: To be eligible for a graduate assistantship, an applicant must be:

  • admitted to the MFT program
  • maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 graduate grade point average, and
  • be enrolled full-time [4 credits or more except J-term] during the semester/term of the assistantship

Criteria: Criteria for awarding assistantships may include any combination of the following: (a) skills and abilities, (b) academic merit, (c) potential for success, and (d) contribution to the mission of the graduate program and university. In addition to the assistantship application and skills inventory, information in the applicant’s admission file may be assessed.

Application Deadline: June 1 is the priority application date for assistantship consideration for the coming academic year. Applications received after the priority date will be reviewed as funds are available.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the online Graduate Assistantship Application by the June 1st deadline. (It has been extended to July 1)
  • Upload a current resume to the Graduate Assistantship application.

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.

The Washington State Behavioral Health Workforce Development Initiative is a statewide initiative underwritten by the Ballmer Group. The goal of the initiative is to increase the number of well-trained masters-level clinicians committed to working in community behavioral health agencies in Washington by 415 graduates.

This grant strives to support the professional development of students who commit to three years of employment serving those in need of mental health and substance use services.


  • Demonstrates a commitment to working in the behavioral health field.
  • In need of financial assistance.
  • Demonstrates experience with and a commitment to working in diverse communities.


  • Graduate counseling, marriage and family therapy, and social work students who will commit to working at a Medicaid-receiving community behavioral health agency or tribal health center focused on services to underserved communities, for 36 months post-graduation.
  • Applicants must complete their training in a target community behavioral health agency or tribal health center.
  • Applicants must plan to live in Washington state 36 months post-graduation.
  • Conditional grants program funds a maximum of $51,500 based upon unmet need; re-evaluated each year; paid in installments each academic quarter or semester.
  • Conditional grants students must remain in good academic standing with their program and participate in WDI-related training/meetings.
  • Professional development opportunities are available.

Partner Community Behavioral Health Agencies include:

  • Medicaid-receiving agencies and tribal health centers focused on services to underserved communities, based in Washington state.
  • Located in a community setting (versus inpatient hospital, school district, Veterans Administration Medical Center, or other institutional settings) within Washington state or a tribal health center offering behavioral health services.
  • Employing masters-level clinical behavioral health staff from the following disciplines: mental health counseling, social work, and/or marriage and family therapy.
  • Providing behavioral health services reimbursed by Medicaid.
  • Providing individual outpatient mental health treatment, outpatient substance use disorder Level I or Level II treatment (directly or through agreement), and rehabilitative case management.
  • Training sites have designated instructors for clinical supervision.
  • Providing key program metrics and feedback regarding the level of student preparation.