Master of Science inNursing

It's all about value...

Nurses play a key role in ensuring the continued quality of patient care and evidence-based outcomes in our nation’s health care system. The need for strong, effective nursing leadership and nursing faculty in health care has never been more critical. In response, Pacific Lutheran University's School of Nursing offers its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to prepare registered nurses to become administrators, leaders and educators.

Because you are pursuing your graduate nursing degree there is one thing we know about you already - you understand the value of education. You are among the very top percentile in the world to pursue this level of education, and whether earning your MSN is motivated by a career move, a promotion, or a passion for the exchange of ideas and high level thinking, earning the PLU MSN is an investment in you and your life as a global citizen.

At PLU our goal is to create a partnership that is financially feasible for you to pursue your studies. Financial assistance from PLU, federal and state financial aid programs, student resources, payment options and careful planning help make PLU affordable.


PLU Graduate Nursing Scholarships

Dean's Excellence in Nursing Leadership Graduate Scholarships

Each year Pacific Lutheran University awards up to three new Bachelor's prepared registered nurses pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing, Care and Outcomes Manager (COM) concentration scholarships of up to $8,500 each.  (The scholarships do not apply to the Entry-Level MSN, RN-B to MSN, MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner, or MSN/MBA programs.)  These graduate scholarships are for RNs pursuing advanced preparation for positions in supervision, administration or teaching.  The scholarship is designed to support registered nurses committed to improving health care outcomes, as well as improving their leadership and management skills through the pursuit of the MSN-COM degree.  To download the Dean's Excellence in Nursing Leadership  Graduate Scholarship application, click here.  

PLU School of Nursing Scholarships

The School of Nursing may offer limited scholarship opportunities for admitted graduate students who have successfully completed one year of the program. For more information, contact

 PLU Alumni Tuition Discount

The PLU Grant provides a 10% 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.

 PLU Graduate Fellowships

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 for each program during the academic year. Full awards are very rare. In general, involve time commitments of five to fifteen hours per week.

To find out more, email:

PLU International Graduate Student Scholarships

Full-time international graduate students can be eligible for between $4,000.00 and $7,500.00 in scholarship, renewable for the duration of the graduate program.To find out more, click here.

The Yellow Ribbon Program at PLU

Pacific Lutheran University is proud to partner with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to offer a total of 200 full-tuition, Yellow Ribbon Scholarships to qualified veterans or their dependents.  PLU has rich history of working closely with the military community and is excited to provide greater access to private higher education through this important program.

The Yellow Ribbon GI Educational Enhancement Program is component of the Post-9/11 Act of 2008.  This partnership between the VA and PLU offers qualified veterans or their dependents full-tuition scholarships to enter either undergraduate or graduate programs at PLU.  In the coming academic year, PLU will offer unlimited Yellow Ribbon Scholarships for graduate students.

To find out more, visit:

To see a large list of Scholarships for Service Members, click here. 


Federal Financial Aid

With more than $60 billion earmarked for student loans, the federal government is committed to helping you attend graduate school.  It all begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To find out more about any of the federal loan, grant, or loan forgiveness programs, go to:


To apply for federal and state financial aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). An analysis of your FAFSA determines how much you and your family can afford to contribute to your education. A variety of factors are taken into account: family income, total savings, family size, parents' age (and their need to save for retirement) and the number of siblings in college at the same time.

How to submit a FAFSA

You may submit the FAFSA in one of two ways:

  • Complete the FAFSA on the Web at You will be provided a confirmation number and an opportunity to create your own Personal Identification Number (PIN) which you can use immediately to sign your application.  This is the recommended and most accurate way to complete the FAFSA.
  • Request a paper FAFSA from the US Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Complete and mail the FAFSA using the envelope included with the form. This processing takes approximately two to four weeks.  

When completing the FAFSA, be sure to indicate that you want the results of your analysis sent to PLU (use code 003785).   Keep copies of everything you submit.

Which application to use

To receive financial assistance for enrollment in summer or fall of 2014 use the 2014-2015 FAFSA.  

  1. Apply for the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA)    PLU School Code 003785
  2. If you do not have federal PIN, Apply for a PIN - your federal signature

The information from your FAFSA application will be electronically sent to PLU's Office of Financial Aid. They will work with your Student Services Center Counselor to send you your Offer of Financial Aid.

Direct Loans

Direct Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools.   A maximum of $20,500 per year is available to most eligible registered graduate students. Loans may be either subsidized or unsubsidized, depending on the student’s resources. The interest rate is 6.8 percent per year, simple interest (not compound).

Direct Stafford Loans include the following types of loans:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans- With Direct Unsubsidized Loans, the borrower is not required to demonstrate financial need to receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Like subsidized loans, your school will determine the amount you can borrow (maximum of $20,500 per year). Interest accrues (accumulates) on an unsubsidized loan from the time it's first paid out. You can pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). If you choose not to pay the interest as it accrues, this will increase the total amount you have to repay because you will be charged interest on a higher principal amount.

To find out more, visit:

Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students

Graduate and professional degree students can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help cover education expenses.

  • The terms and conditions applicable to PLUS Loans for parents also apply to PLUS Loans for graduate and professional students. These terms and conditions include: a determination that you (the applicant) do not have an adverse credit history; and
  • a fixed interest rate of 7.9% for Direct PLUS Loans.

Unlike parent PLUS applicants, you (the student applicant) are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, before you can receive a PLUS Loan, your school must have determined your maximum eligibility for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

Additional loan types provided under the Direct Loan Program, include Direct Loans (for undergraduate and graduate students), Direct PLUS Loans (for parents), and Direct Consolidation Loans (to combine federal education loan debts into a single loan).

To find out more, visit:

Federal Nursing Loans

Students accepted for admission into the PLU School of Nursing and enrolled at least half-time in the nursing program  may be considered for a low interest, federally funded Nursing Loan.  Federal Nursing Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5% and a repayment grace period of  nine months after graduation (or less than half time enrollment, whichever comes first).  For more information, click here.

Federal Grants

Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid.

Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you are employed in certain public service jobs and have made 120 payments on your Direct Loans (after Oct. 1, 2007), the remaining balance that you owe may be forgiven. Only payments made under certain repayment plans may be counted toward the required 120 payments. You must not be in default on the loans that are forgiven. For more information, go to Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge
The following Federal Perkins Loan Program cancellations apply to individuals who perform certain types of public service or are employed in certain occupations.
For each complete year of service, a percentage of the loan may be canceled. The total percentage of the loan that can be canceled depends on the type of service performed. Depending on the type of loan you have, and when that loan was taken out, you may be eligible to cancel part of or your entire loan if you have served as one of the following:
•    Volunteer in the Peace Corps or ACTION program (including VISTA)
•    Teacher
•    Member of the U.S. armed forces (serving in area of hostilities)
•    Nurse or medical technician
•    Law enforcement or corrections officer
•    Head Start worker
•    Child or family services worker
•    Professional provider of early intervention services

Satisfactory Academic Progress--Federal Financial Aid Standards

When students accept financial aid at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), they also accept the responsibility for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The policy at PLU is to allow students to continue to receive financial assistance as long as they are in “good standing”. To do otherwise could cause a severe hardship on students who devote their efforts to achieving satisfactory progress.

This progress is based on the following criteria:

  • The numbers of credit hours students enroll in per semester,
  • Term and cumulative grade point average,
  • Length of enrollment at PLU and,
  • Any transfer courses accepted by PLU.

To find out more about Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, please click here.

Outside Scholarships


Nurses  have several sources for professional scholarships, both civilian and military.

Click here for a database of nursing scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs.   (See the excel version on the "documents and forms" tab. 

A comprehensive list of outside scholarships and loans may be found at the The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)website.

There are also military direct-commissioning programs for the nurse-corp:

If you or your spouse has served in the military post 9/11, you may be eligible for full tuition scholarship through the Yellow Ribbon Program. 

The Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board has a loan repayment program for those entering the Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program.

There are several opportunities with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Service Administration:

HRSA Advanced Education Traineeships
Grant-funded stipends from the Health Resources and Services Administration intended for students who plan to seek employment in areas that “will substantially benefit rural or underserved populations, or help meet public health nursing needs in state or local health departments.”

HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program
Loans funded by a Health Resources and Services Administration grant are awarded to students enrolled in a full-time program of study specifically preparing them for careers as Nurse Educators. Following graduation, loan recipients may cancel up to 85% of the NFLP loan over four years for serving as a full-time nurse faculty member at a school of nursing.

HRSA Nursing Scholarship Program

Here is a list of several other outside scholarship sources for nurses:

The American Legion Eight and Forty Lung and Respiratory Disease Nursing Scholarship

Johnson & Johnson Scholarship Search Engine

Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization

National Student Nurses' Association

Pierce County Nurses Association

Washington State Health Professional Loan Repayment and Scholarship Information

Washington Center for Nursing

Health Careers Foundation

Minority Nurse Association

National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Links for Further Research into Outside Scholarships and Fellowships

Council for Graduate Schools


List of Scholarships for Service Members

List of Scholarships/Fellowships

The College Grant Database