Public Price Promise at Cal Lutheran extends to ‘all University of California schools’

Carrollyne Aasen, Reporter

Starting fall 2022, California Lutheran University’s Public Price Promise program will extend to include all University of California schools.

“The Public Price Promise program is a scholarship program designed for students to help mitigate and subsidize costs to our university,” Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Outreach Michael Elgarico said in a Zoom interview. 

Elgarico said this scholarship helps the playing field more thoughtfully and helps broaden the audience of prospective students at Cal Lutheran. 

We wanted to make sure that in all spaces that you [got] admitted to a UC is exceptional [while] you are also admitted to us [Cal Lutheran],” Elgarico said.

According to the policies for the Public Price Promise on Cal Lutheran’s Financial Aid website, the school offers this scholarship to ensure that as many students as possible have access to high quality education and to help make a private school education more of a reality for students

Director of Financial Aid Jerry McKeen said in a phone interview that the Public Price Promise program covers the difference between the cost of attendance at the UC schools and Cal Lutheran.

“We hope it [the scholarship] entices someone who really wants to go to Cal Lutheran and so, a little extra money might be able to help,” McKeen said. 

Beatriz Mendoza, associate director of financial aid said in a Zoom interview that acceptance into any UC school will apply to incoming students and not those currently enrolled at Cal Lutheran because this scholarship’s eligibility was during initial enrollment.

“The current students who have this scholarship will keep it, there is no change for them,” Mendoza said. “We are not going back like, you know, if the students this year, let’s say, were admitted at UC Merced, we are not going to make the change.”

Elgarico said that previously, the Public Price Promise program scholarship excluded UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced. He said that these universities were not included because there were not many students applying at these schools and Cal Lutheran simultaneously. 

“As the UC system has gotten even more competitive across the board, we are seeing Cal Lutheran students apply to all these different UCs,” Elgarico said. “So, I think that this means that students are applying to a wider variety of them.”

He said that this gave Cal Lutheran the opportunity to open up their doors to every UC school besides the six previous UC schools.

Mendoza said this scholarship is automatically renewable throughout their time at Cal Lutheran and will be adjusted over time. She said that the scholarship can increase or stay the same, however it will never decrease.

“This scholarship is usually the highest scholarship they can get within the school. The Public Price Promise program will replace their merit scholarship, if they have one,” Mendoza said. 

According to the Financial Aid website, the scholarship for 2021-2022 was $28,182, the same as 2020-2021. The website said that the price stayed the same because of the average cost of attendance calculation being lower than the previous year. 

Moreover, the Public Price Promise program page said that because of the scholarship’s policy of not decreasing the award, Cal Lutheran determined all students will continue to receive the scholarship at the rate of the previous year. 

Mendoza said in an email that though this number is not official, there are about 204 students who have the Public Price Promise for the current academic year. 

The Financial Aid site also states that incoming students, transfer students, out-of-state students, and international students may be eligible for this scholarship. Traditional undergraduates and Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals students must be enrolled in at least 12 units per term to receive this scholarship.

“It’s [the scholarship] allowing for students to have an opportunity to look at Cal Lutheran when maybe they think the price point seems out of range for some students,” McKeen said. 

For more information on the Public Price Promise program and eligibility, visit the Public Price Promise page on Cal Lutheran’s website.