Info for Parents Counselors

Tacoma Public Schools Commitment

University of Puget Sound is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) applicants for first time, first year undergraduate study beginning with the 2015-16 academic year. Please carefully read the information on admission requirements and financial aid below. If you have any questions, we're here to help! You can reach our Office of Admission at or 253.879.3211.

Admission Requirements

Puget Sound requires that applicants submit the Common Application, a School Report, Teacher Evaluation, Transcripts, and the ACT or SAT if applying with test scores by January 15, 2017. For the Class of 2020, the average high school GPA of admitted students was a 3.55 earned in a rigorous curriculum such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) or the equivalent, and the middle 50% range of standardized tests was 1700-1980 on the SAT and 26-30 on the ACT.

Tacoma Public Schools Commitment

In order to qualify for the Tacoma Public Schools Commitment, admitted students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have been enrolled for three consecutive years and graduate from one of the following TPS high schools: Henry Foss High School, Lincoln High School, Mount Tahoma High School, Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA), Science and Math Institute (SAMI), Stadium High School, or  Wilson High School. An exception to the three-year TPS enrollment is made for students from military families. Transfer college students and home schooled students are not eligible.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or qualify under the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523).
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, if applying under the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523), the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) in order to demonstrate financial need.  In all cases awards will be made in accordance with Federal and State regulations governing the awarding of Federal and State financial aid. 

Transfer college students and home-schooled students are not eligible for the Tacoma Public Schools Commitment, but are invited to apply to Puget Sound and will be considered for other financial aid awards.

Determining Financial Need

Financial aid eligibility, or demonstrated financial need, is determined by subtracting Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from University of Puget Sound’s cost of attendance. The EFC is calculated from the information reported on the FAFSA. The formula by which EFC is derived considers such things as income, certain assets, family size, and number of children in college, among other factors. The EFC is a measure of a family's ability to pay for college and is an index that all colleges use to determine the amount of need-based financial aid for which a student is eligible. The EFC is what University of Puget Sound expects the family to pay toward a student's education in a given year.

Cost of Attendance is the estimated cost of the direct and indirect expenses expected during an academic year. University of Puget Sound’s direct costs for the 2016-17 year are $58,352. Indirect costs are expenses incurred that are not billed by Puget Sound and include expenses for books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses totaling $3,300. University of Puget Sound’s total cost of attendance for 2016-17 is $61,652.

Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

The amount of financial need is then used to determine eligibility for need-based grants, loans, and work-study.

Meeting Full Demonstrated Financial Need

University of Puget Sound will meet the full demonstrated financial need for eligible students for up to five academic years through a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and work study. Work study awards will not exceed $3,000; loans will not exceed $5,500 per year.

After determining EFC and demonstrated financial need, applicable awards will be applied as follows; Merit Scholarship, Pell Grant, Washington State Need Grant, Federal SEOG, Subsidized Federal Loan, Work Study, Unsubsidized Federal Loan, and Puget Sound Grant.

What Happens Next?

Applicants meeting the above requirements will automatically be considered for aid through Puget Sound's Tacoma Public School Commitment! If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact our Office of Admission at or 253.879.3211.