Palmer Scholars Expands Partnership with Pacific Lutheran University



Over our 38-year history, Palmer Scholars has served over 600 promising young adults throughout Pierce County. The majority of our Scholars choose to study in-state, and to study at public institutions. For many years, Pacific Lutheran University has been the top private university chosen by our Scholars. We are excited to announce that starting with the 2021-22 academic year, Palmer Scholars and PLU will partner to provide additional financial assistance as well as intentional on-campus support and leadership development to help our Scholars reach the finish line.

Palmer Scholars recognizes that being admitted to a postsecondary program is often just the first obstacle a young adult of color faces in their pursuit of higher education. To work to close the postsecondary success gap for low-income young adults of color, the Palmer to PLU program will ensure both incoming and continuing Palmer Scholars at Pacific Lutheran University receive wraparound supports as they progress towards their undergraduate degree. Benefits for Palmer to PLU Scholars include:

  • Once admitted to PLU, Palmer Scholars will automatically receive a $3,000 matching PLU Scholarship. This match is also available for continuing Palmer to PLU Scholars (admitted prior to Fall 2020)

  • Palmer to PLU Scholars admitted for Fall 2021 are also automatically entered into a competitive, need-aware selection process for a full-tuition or full financial need scholarship. At least one student will be selected for a full-tuition scholarship annually.

  • Palmer to PLU Scholars will receive regular support, mentoring, and leadership development as a cohort at PLU.

  • Scholars selected for a full tuition or full financial need award are required to participate in a Leadership Symposium each year, alongside other PLU cohorts receiving similar scholarship support. The Leadership Symposium, which includes life and social skills development, is provided to ensure students’ successful experience navigating the landscape of a predominantly white institution (PWI).

  • Scholars who are not selected for a full-tuition or full need scholarship are welcome and encouraged to also participate in the Leadership Symposium experience.


While Palmer Scholars develops this partnership to serve its Scholars at PLU, Scholars are welcome to attend any postsecondary institution that best fits their skills and academic and career goals. Since 2016, PLU has accepted 19 Palmer Scholars, with nine currently enrolled in the Lute Nation. Since 1983, 96% of Palmer Scholars who have enrolled at Pacific Lutheran University have either graduated or are still in attendance!



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