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Pacific Lutheran University offering tuition-free year to all current students

(Photo courtesy of Pacific Lutheran University on Facebook)

Pacific Lutheran University announced it will be giving an additional tuition-free year to all undergraduate students enrolled full time for the 2020-2021 academic year.

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The university’s “PLUS Year” offers two additional semesters to students right after they complete their current degree. Graduate students will also be offered opportunities for tuition-free continuing education courses upon completion of their graduate degree program.

The private university near Tacoma, Wash., is planning to offer in-person, online, and blended courses this fall, and on-campus housing will be available. PLU is taking “extensive safety precautions,” including canceling or postponing  hundreds of events and programs, athletic competitions, music and theater productions, intramural sports, and academic conferences for the fall semester.

“We’re working hard to ensure that this semester our students have a positive academic experience. We understand this will not be the college experience they imagined,” said PLU President Allan Belton in a news release on PLU’s website. “We’re offering this PLUS year to ensure that students still get every opportunity to experience our university at its full, most vibrant capacity.”

Every undergraduate student enrolled full-time for the upcoming academic year will be eligible for the PLUS Year.

“We expect students to take advantage of their PLUS year in a lot of different ways,” Belton said. “For some, it will mean an extra semester on the field or performing with their music ensemble. Others will take advantage of the opportunity to study away, complete an additional major or minor or engage in additional research with a favorite faculty member.”

The PLUS Year may also allow students the flexibility to take a lighter course load during the pandemic.

“The PLUS Year is deeply consistent with the core elements of Lutheran higher education, offering additional time to learn in community while building skills in thoughtful inquiry and service for the common good,” Belton said.

Read more about PLU’s COVID-19 campus response and preparations for fall 2020 here.

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