Pacific Lutheran University Admissions Essay Topic

Entrance Requirements
In evaluating applications, the Office of Admission interprets grade point average and class rank in relation to the quality of the curriculum that the applicant has pursued in high school. A standard high school program in preparation for college should include the following:

    • English: four years
    • Mathematics: three years: (algebra, two years; and geometry, one year)
    • Foreign Language: two years
    • Social Studies: two years
    • Laboratory Sciences: two years
    • Fine, Visual, or Performing Arts: one year
    • Electives: three years (selected from the areas listed above, as well as courses in computer science, speech, and debate.)
Minimum Entrance Requirements
  • Two years of college preparatory mathematics (exclusive of computer science) with an average grade of C or higher, or an approved course at the college level, or demonstrated equivalent proficiency.
    • Two years of college preparatory mathematics means two years of high school algebra or one year of high school algebra and one year of high school geometry. Taking the algebra and/or geometry courses in middle or junior high school is acceptable provided they are high-school-level courses.
    • If a student is admitted to PLU with a deficiency in mathematics, that deficiency is removed after completion of approved courses as determined by the PLU math placement exam.
  • Two years of one foreign language in high school, with an average grade of C or higher, or one year at the college level or demonstrated equivalent proficiency. Courses in American Sign Language may fulfill this requirement.

Students who have not satisfied one or both of these requirements may still be admitted but must make up the deficiency as an additional degree requirement.

Additional study of both mathematics and foreign language is advisable for certain areas in the arts and sciences and in some professional programs. Those who follow the above preparatory program will find most curricular offerings of the University open to them and may also qualify for advanced placement in some areas.

Mathematics Department Minimum Entrance Requirements

The Office of the Registrar determines whether a student meets the minimum entrance requirements by following the above rules. When a student has a deficiency, after taking the Math Placement Test, the student will receive a recommendation about how to remove the deficiency based on the test results.

If the test result shows that a student is qualified to take MATH 115 or a higher numbered math course at PLU, then the deficiency will be removed when the student successfully passes such a course. In addition, the student will receive Math Reasoning (MR) General Education Program credit. Please be aware that credit from taking MATH 105 or MATH 107 or any non-math course which carries the MR attribute does not remove a math deficiency.

If the Math Placement Test result shows that the student is not qualified to take MATH 115 or a higher numbered math course, the student will have to take a course at a community college to remove the deficiency in his or her minimum mathematics entrance requirement. The course content should be equivalent to or more difficult than high school algebra or geometry, and it must be approved by the Department of Mathematics.

Application Procedures

PLU has four admission decision priority dates—October 15, November 15, December 15, and January 15. Students who complete their application materials prior to one of these dates can expect an admission decision and notification of academic scholarship eligibility prior to the next decision date. Applications received after January 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Credentials required are:

    • Formal Application: Submit the PLU Application for Admission or the Common Application online at or  Both options are free.
    • Transcripts: Official transcripts must be submitted for all high school and college coursework. Transcripts must be sent directly from the school to PLU. All accepted students must submit a final high school transcript that indicates satisfactory completion of high school and attainment of a diploma. The University accepts the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) for those students who may not have completed a traditional high school program. Transcripts become the property of PLU and may not be returned or forwarded.
    • Recommendation: One academic recommendation must be completed. The form is available online.
    • Test Requirement: All entering first-year students must submit scores from either the College Board, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), or the American College Test (ACT) Assessment. Registration procedures and forms are available at high school counseling offices.
    • Personal Essay: Applicants will also include one essay with their application. Choice of topics is included in the application.
    • PLU Scholarship Opportunities: Scholarship information, including academic merit based and artistic achievement scholarships, may be found at  Students are also encouraged to indicate their intent to apply for financial aid via the FAFSA. Qualified first-year students are encouraged to apply for PLU’s top academic and leadership Presidential Scholarships.
Early Admission

Qualified first-year students interested in accelerating their formal education may begin work toward a degree after completion of the junior year or first semester of the senior year of high school. Exceptional students who wish to enroll before completing all required units in high school must have a letter submitted by a recognized school official who approves early college admission and gives assurance that a high school diploma will be issued after completion of specified college work. Only students highly recommended for Early Admission will be considered. Generally these students rank near the top of their class and present high aptitude test scores.

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Pacific Lutheran University is 76%. For every 100 applicants, 76 are admitted.

This means the school is lightly selective. The school will have their expected requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores. If you meet their requirements, you're almost certain to get an offer of admission. But if you don't meet Pacific Lutheran University's requirements, you'll be one of the unlucky few people who gets rejected.

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

The average GPA at Pacific Lutheran University is 3.68.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.68, Pacific Lutheran University requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. This will show that you're able to handle more difficult academics than the average high school student.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.68, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Pacific Lutheran University. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Pacific Lutheran University SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1180 (Old: 1634)

The average SAT score composite at Pacific Lutheran University is a 1180 on the 1600 SAT scale.

On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1634.

This score makes Pacific Lutheran University Competitive for SAT test scores.

Pacific Lutheran University SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1060, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1300. In other words, a 1060 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1300 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile

Pacific Lutheran University SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1450, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1830. In other words, a 1450 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1830 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Pacific Lutheran University ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Pacific Lutheran University likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 25

The average ACT score at Pacific Lutheran University is 25. This score makes Pacific Lutheran University Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 22, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 28.

Even though Pacific Lutheran University likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 22 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 22 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Pacific Lutheran University, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 22.

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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Pacific Lutheran University considers the SAT/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that Pacific Lutheran University requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.

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