South Sound News

PLU unveils ‘PLUS year’ tuition program for current students

TACOMA, Wash. — Pacific Lutheran University unveiled plans on Monday to offer an additional tuition-free year to all undergraduate students enrolled full-time for the 20-21 academic year.

The university is calling the plan a “PLUS Year” and said the additional semesters will be offered to students directly after their currently scheduled degree completion date.

Officials said graduate students will be offered opportunities for tuition-free continuing education courses. The university will offer in-person, online, and “blended” courses and on-campus housing this fall.

Events and programs including some athletic competitions, music and theater productions, intramural sports, academic conferences, and many others have been postponed or canceled for the fall semester, officials said.

“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,” PLU President Allan Belton said in a news release. “We’re offering this PLUS year to ensure that students still get every opportunity to experience our university at its full, most vibrant capacity.”

According to the university, all undergraduate students enrolled full-time this academic year, regardless of class standing, will be eligible for the “PLUS” year. Graduate students enrolled full-time in the fall will be eligible for continuing education credits upon completion of their graduate degree program.

“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.”

Belton also said he hopes the “PLUS” year will allow students the opportunity to take a lighter course load during the coronavirus pandemic to “focus on the health and well-being of themselves and those around them.”