Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Charles D. York and Cheryl L. Storm Graduate Scholarships

Each year Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) awards two new students in the MFT program $10,000 in scholarships.  These awards are named for Charles D. York and Cheryl L. Storm who have been influential in the founding and shaping of the MFT program at PLU.

Award amount: up to $10,000

Number of awards: 2

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 Deadline: January 31

Application Procedure:

  1. Submit admission application for the MFT program via GradCAS by January 31.
  2. Fill out the online Scholarship Application
  3. Submit an essay addressing the following questions (no more than five pages, double spaced). You can upload the essay to the online scholarship application.
    • Discuss your decision for choosing a career in couple and family therapy versus another mental health field.
    • Provide an example from your life that demonstrates your commitment and passion for helping other from marginalized groups.
    • Explain how you have financed your education thus far and how the scholarship would help you accomplish your professional goals.
  4. Provide a letter of recommendation that addresses the specific scholarship questions. You can send this link to your recommender to submit the Graduate Scholarships Recommendation Form and upload the letter: Recommendation Form

The MFT Graduate Fellowship

The graduate fellowship 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 fellowships are available during academic year. Full awards are very rare. In general, fellowship 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 fellowships are available during the academic year. In general, paid fellowships involve time commitments of five to ten hours per week, and a stipend between $900 and $1,900 per semester, available only during the first two semesters. Total amount of fellowship and scholarship financial aid may not exceed a student’s total tuition cost for the period awarded.  Fellowships may be considered taxable income.

Number of awards: Varied

Eligibility: To be eligible for a graduate fellowship, 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 fellowship

Criteria: Criteria for awarding fellowships 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 fellowship application and skills inventory, information in the applicant’s admission file may be assessed.

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

How to Apply:


PLU Alumni Grant

The PLU Grant provides a 10 percent discount on tuition for PLU graduates who enroll in a PLU master’s 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.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Direct Loans)

Although payments are deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time, unsubsidized loans accumulate interest while you are in school. If you can, it is recommended that you try to pay the interest on these loans while you are in school.

Loan amount: LOAN of $20,500 per year

Deadline: Applicants are considered for this loan when their FAFSA application is being processed. The loan is processed by PLU and disbursed to pay your tuition.

Number of awards: n/a

Criteria: You do not need to demonstrate need to qualify for these loans. Detailed information is available at the Federal student aid website.

Terms of the loan: This loan accumulates interest while you are in school, and when you are in your forbearance “grace period.” It is a loan, so it must be paid back with interest. When you fill out the FAFSA, there is a tool that estimates what your student loan repayment amounts will look like. Detailed information, including current interest rates,  is available at the Federal student aid website.

How to apply:

  • Fill out the Free Application For Student Aid – Please note, the FAFSA must be filled out each year that you are enrolled.
  • Once you receive your PLU award notification, you must log onto PLU’s Secure Area of Banner Web, Financial Aid Services, to Accept or Decline the loan.
  • If you choose to accept the loan, you must also “Sign In” to studentloans.gov to complete the required Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

PLUS Loan (Direct Loans)

Although payments are deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time, unsubsidized loans accumulate interest while you are in school. If you can, it is recommended that you try to pay the interest on these loans while you are in school. These loans differ from Unsubsidized Stafford Loans in that they have a higher interest rate and require a credit check.

Loan amount: LOAN to meet any unmet need up to the total estimated cost of attendance for the program.

Deadline: Applicants are considered for this loan when their FAFSA application is being processed. The loan is processed by PLU and disbursed to pay your tuition.

Number of awards: n/a

Criteria: You do not need to demonstrate need to qualify for these loans. Unlike the Stafford loan, borrowers must pass a credit check. Detailed information is available at the Federal student aid website.

Terms of the loan: This loan accumulates interest while you are in school, and when you are in your forbearance “grace period.” It is a loan, so it must be paid back with interest. When you fill out the FAFSA, there is a tool that estimates what your student loan repayment amounts will look like. Detailed information, including current interest rates,  is available at the Federal student aid website.

How to apply:

  • Fill out the Free Application For Student Aid – Please note, the FAFSA must be filled out each year that you are enrolled.
  • Once you receive your PLU award notification, you must log onto PLU’s Secure Area of Banner Web, Financial Aid Services, to Accept or Decline the loan.
  • If you choose to accept the loan, you must also “Sign In” to studentloans.gov to complete the required Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.

Yellow Ribbon ProgramPLU Graduate Programs are yellow ribbon

Pacific Lutheran University is proud to partner with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to offer an unlimited number of full-tuition Yellow Ribbon Scholarships to qualified veterans or their dependents.

For detailed information about this benefit and eligibility, see the Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program FAQ.

For more information about using your post 9/11 GI benefits at PLU, please contact PLU’s Veterans Benefits Coordinator Neshell Henkel Chabot at 800-678-3243, 253-535-7161, or henkelnd@plu.edu.


Vocational Rehab & Other Benefits

At PLU, we are committed to assisting you with getting the most from your benefits. If you qualify for Vocational Rehab, or any other benefits, our dedicated Veterans Benefits Coordinator will work with you to help you fill out the paperwork you need for the VA. Please contact Neshell Henkel Chabot at 800-678-3243, 253-535-7161, or henkelnd@plu.edu.

AAC Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program

AAC established these scholarship awards to provide financial assistance to college and graduate students pursuing careers in behavioral health and addiction–related studies. Students eligible for scholarships are those enrolled or will be enrolled in behavioral health, nursing, counseling, psychology, social work, marriage/ family therapy, or other program focusing on treating mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Award amount: $5,000 for 1st place, $2,500 for second and third place.

Number of awards: 3

Criteria: Open to full or part-time undergraduate or college graduate students
Must be entering or enrolled in behavioral health, nursing, counseling, psychology, social work, marriage/ family therapy, or other program focusing on treating mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Submission Period: January 1, 2018 through April 30, 2018

Terms of the award: No specific terms listed.

How to apply:
Fill out the Scholarship Application and submit it along with all required supporting items by the deadline.