Public Price Promise to make Cal Lutheran tuition comparable to UC school’s


Infographic by Elisa Zody- Digital and Multimedia Editor

Price matching will allow for more students to be able to attend Cal Lutheran.

Emily Henbest, Reporter

California Lutheran University students can now qualify to receive the Public Price Promise, guaranteeing University of California price-matching, without a formal acceptance to a UC school. 

First-year students coming to Cal Lutheran from a California high school with a grade point average of 3.9 or higher and transfers coming from a college or university in California with a GPA of 3.5 or higher will be automatically awarded the $28,960 Public Price Promise award.

“The scholarship is set into the amount to make our tuition comparable to the total cost of attendance of a UC school,” Falone Serna, dean of undergraduate admissions, said in a Zoom interview.

Prior to this school year, all Public Price Promise applicants had to apply to a UC, receive acceptance and have their councilor verify the acceptance with Cal Lutheran to be eligible to receive this scholarship. Now all students have to do is submit their FAFSA, and if GPA requirements are met then they will be automatically awarded.

“[If] a high school student [is] applying for fall, they don’t know if they’re going to get admitted to a UC or not. So the scholarship is possible, but they’re not going to know until they’ve been notified by another institution if they’ve been granted admission,”  Serna said. “This makes it a lot more accessible, a lot more straightforward, less burdensome on our partners on the high school side as well.”

This year, according to data shared by Serna, 151 first-year and 20 transfer students were awarded the Public Price Promise. A total of $4,952,160 was awarded to the 171 recipients.

The Public Price Promise guarantees price matching to recipients for subsequent years. When renewed, adjustments will be automatic if the award amount has increased since the following year.

“It is renewable each year, so students would have to continue to meet all the eligibility criteria. That encompasses not just academic, but also meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires that they maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and complete at least 67% of their courses,” Director of Financial Aid Teresa Potts said during a phone interview.

In a press release sent out on October 5th, University Editor in Marketing and Communications Linda Martinez said students can also receive other scholarships, along with federal, state and institutional aid based on need to further reduce the cost. 

Serna said the scholarship is designed to make Cal Lutheran tuition costs proportionate with cost of attendance at a UC.

“Really what this is about is like, really helping folks understand that this can be an affordable option,” Serna said.

For students ineligible to receive the Public Price Promise, Teresa Potts said there are plenty other sources of funding that we try to encourage students to seek out. 

Outside scholarship tools, guides and opportunities are always ample and available on the Cal Lutheran website for students to find a scholarship opportunity that best suits their needs and interests.