Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for Pacific Lutheran University is $40,352 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 45% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 113% more expensive than the average Washington tuition of $18,938 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 29th in Washington amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 7th most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $370 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $40,722.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $10,520 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Tacoma should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $840.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,718 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,718 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to PLU was $54,800 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of Washington residence status as there is no in-state discount.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Pacific Lutheran University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Pacific Lutheran University
Estimated Budgets
Washington Resident Total Budget $54,800
   In-State Tuition$40,352
   Other Fees$370
   Room and Board$10,520
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,718
   Books and Supplies$840
Non-Resident Total Budget $54,800
   Out-of-State Tuition$40,352
   Other Fees$370
   Room and Board$10,520
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,718
   Books and Supplies$840


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $54,800 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported PLU net price for in-state students is $25,086* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

98% of Pacific Lutheran University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $21,784. 30 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,068. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Pacific Lutheran University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Pacific Lutheran University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$25,086*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid98%
Average Total Grant Aid$21,784
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants30%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,068

Average Net Price by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$17,047
$30,001 to $48,000$18,805
$48,001 to $75,000$22,248
$75,001 to $110,000$26,825

Average Financial Aid Mix - $54,800 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $54,800. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 42% - $21,784

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Pacific Lutheran University or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 12% - $6,194

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 46% -  $24,104

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Private Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Pacific Lutheran University
Seattle Pacific University0.3% more expensive
Walla Walla University34.1% less expensive
Whitworth University1.8% more expensive
Carroll College17% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Pacific Lutheran University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at PLU is $219,200 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $22,249 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $88,996**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $274,000 or $111,245 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Pacific Lutheran University are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Pacific Lutheran University
Price per credit hour$1,261
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$3,783
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$5,044


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 65% of Pacific Lutheran University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $6,194. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $31,639.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Pacific Lutheran University? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $88,996, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $110,423.63. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Pacific Lutheran University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 98% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $22,249. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Pacific Lutheran University student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Pacific Lutheran University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$920.20
Amount Borrowed$88,996.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$21,427.63
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$110,423.63

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend PLU? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Pacific Lutheran University, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $110,423.63 would be needed to afford a $920.20 monthly payment in the example $88,996.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Pacific Lutheran University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $32,800 to $40,352. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 4.6%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $219,200.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Pacific Lutheran University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$75,363$301,451
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$96,184$384,737
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $122,758$491,032
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $142,108$568,431

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Pacific Lutheran University to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 124 59% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 68 53% costlier
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 63 38% costlier
Elementary Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 33 54% costlier
Art/Art Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 31 40% costlier
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General Bachelor's Degree 29 52% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 26 21% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 21 36% costlier
Music Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 13 44% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 12 32% costlier
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 12 31% costlier
Education, General Bachelor's Degree 11 28% costlier
Chinese Studies Bachelor's Degree 10 5% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 10 32% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 8 29% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 6 15% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 5 19% costlier
Hispanic and Latin American Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General Bachelor's Degree 5 6% cheaper
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 3 29% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 3 32% costlier
Scandinavian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 3 14% costlier
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 3 27% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 3 36% costlier
Women's Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 15% costlier
Computer and Information Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 2 49% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 2 16% costlier
Scandinavian Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 22% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 1 36% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 25% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 1 33% costlier
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 1 52% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 22% costlier
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 3% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 1 33% costlier
Creative Writing Bachelor's Degree 1 19% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 34% costlier
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 58% costlier
Secondary Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 1 50% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 1 34% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 1 21% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Pacific Lutheran University or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Pacific Lutheran University in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Pacific Lutheran University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University is a four year private college located in Tacoma, Washington.  The school is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church faith.  Full time enrollment is 2,904 and part time is 166.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Pacific Lutheran University
1010 122nd St So
Tacoma, Washington

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Pacific Lutheran University is a private not for profit institution.

Pacific Lutheran University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=236230 IPEDS survey data.