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Top 10 reasons why PLU can be a great fit for you

March 1, 2012

why PLU can be a great fit for you

Montserrat Walker '14

Montserrat Walker ’14 Loves the focus PLU places on global issues, and how her classes investigate issues from multiple perspectives

Every student has different reasons why they have found PLU to be a good fit. For some, it’s the welcoming feel they get on campus. For others, it’s the rigorous academics. Many love PLU’s tradition of preparing students to consider life’s bigger issues and to create meaningful solutions – those “Big Questions.”

No doubt you have your own reasons why PLU remains a top choice. Probably a lot.

Here are some of the things we feel like PLU does really, really well. (And many students agree.) So dive in. As you make one of the most important decisions of your life – the university you will attend – remember that more than 3,500 students all have their own reasons why PLU is a good fit for them. We look forward to hearing yours.

Ian Kinder-Pyle '14

Ian Kinder-Pyle ’14 likes that PLU provides numerous opportunities to get involved – whether it is in student government, in the classroom, or on the ultimate Frisbee field

#10 There is no place like the Pacific Northwest

We admit it – there are plenty of rainy days here. Still, students have year-round opportunities to get outside to bike, climb, surf, kayak, hike or ski – like at Mount Rainier National Park, just up the road from campus. The Pacific Northwest is an outdoor Mecca. Go on your own, or let the student-run organization Outdoor Rec make it happen. Novice or expert. And did we mention that a few years ago, “Outside” magazine ranked Tacoma as the fifth best outdoor city in the country? When life is this good, we’ll take a little rain.

#9 Study away – and still graduate on time

We want to make it easy for you to be able to study away – and the Wang Center for Global Education is dedicated to making that happen. They work full-time to ensure that academic credit from experiences abroad transfer to PLU, as well as making sure scholarships count toward study away. How good are they at it? Nearly half of PLU students study away at some time in their academic careers. By contrast, the comparable national average is 3 percent. So, really, who do you think is going to have a better idea of how the world works?

#8 Unique opportunities for student-faculty research

At PLU, students spend more time working with classmates and professors in a close-up, hands-on environment. Many of those opportunities are in the laboratory working with cutting-edge equipment. But it is not only that: Other opportunities include archaeological digs with the Makah Nation, working on Emmy-award documentaries with MediaLab, or studying climate change in Antarctica. All told, each year there are more than 50 grant-supported student-faculty research and creative projects. It is that type of experience that PLU is known for – professors and students side-by-side, conducting research in the lab or in the field.

#7 We know what it means to be successful

PLU is distinguished by the way we measure success. Our goal is to prepare you not only for success in a career, but also for success in service to others. That’s evident in the number of Fulbright scholars we produce, and in our placement rates in graduate school and medical school. We’ve also established Career Connections, a full-time department that helps students prepare for the working world – from academic guidance and internship placement to resume writing, interviewing and networking skills. That said, we also know that success isn’t always about landing the job that makes you the most money, but is also about exploring your interests, discovering your talents and pursuing your life passions. PLU is about that, too.

#6 Small classes where the profs actually teach

At PLU, you’ll have very few large lecture classes, and all classes are taught by professors, not teaching assistants. That’s good news if you are a student who wants to work close-up, hands-on, with your professors and fellow classmates. While PLU’s professors are actively involved in research and writing, their first priority is you.

#5 PLU is a leader on sustainability issues

When PLU received an A- on the influential 2010 College Sustainability Report Card, we wanted an A. However, considering it was the highest grade in the nation – the same as Stanford, Harvard and Yale – we can live with it. PLU has made a commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2020. Each year, PLU recycles up to 70 percent of our waste, and dining services composts like crazy. Every new building is green. We’re building new solar panel systems and rain gardens, and our student-run community garden provides nearly two tons of produce for area food banks. There are even paid student fellowships for students who want to find new ways to make PLU even more green.

Rachel Wattley-Williams '14

Rachel Wattley-Williams ’14 appreciates the connections she has made on campus, both with her fellow students and with the professors in her small classes

#4 We’re Lutheran – and proud of it. But it doesn’t mean you have to be (Lutheran, that is)

All this might sound funny, given our middle name. PLU reaches out to students of all faiths and all backgrounds – the 23 percent that are Lutheran, and the 77 that aren’t. This is exactly what Lutheran education is all about – a commitment to academic freedom and a learning atmosphere where all perspectives on faith and reason are expressed openly.

#3 Nobody does a better job preparing students for medical school

The only school in the state that sends more students to UW Medicine is the UW itself. So what are your best odds of getting into med school? That’s easy: PLU. Do you think the UW sends 66 percent of its successful pre-med undergrads to med school? Forget it. But we do. PLU offers smaller classes, more lab time, more time with a pre-med advisor. At a big state school? Get in line. Or choose PLU instead.

Clayton Bracht '14

Clayton Bracht ’14 says his financial aid package was better at PLU than any other university he applied to

#2 97% of students receive financial aid

We know that choosing a university is among the most important, most life-shaping investments you will ever make. And not just for you – for your entire family. To that end, remember that 97 percent of PLU students receive some kind of financial aid. That’s a lot. So is this number: $26,700. That’s the average financial aid package at PLU.

#1 If you have a passion for the arts, there’s no better place

PLU has a passion for the arts. Whether you are here for drama or music, there’s no better place. PLU just dedicated a cutting-edge studio theater at the heart of campus, and now the performing arts center main stage is under renovation. The acoustically brilliant Lagerquist Concert Hall in Mary Baker Russell Music Center plays host to more than 100 annual concerts. And unlike many other universities and conservatories with exemplary programs, PLU has opportunities (and scholarships!) for performers of all experience levels – you don’t even have to be a major or minor to get involved.