University of Puget Sound is committed to providing a financial aid package that meets the full demonstrated financial need of Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) graduates. 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. For the Class of 2023, the average high school GPA (unweighted) of admitted students was a 3.51 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 1160-1343 on the SAT and 25-31 on the ACT.

Tacoma Public Schools Commitment

Tacoma Public Schools graduates who apply by the Jan. 15 Regular Decision deadline, meet the criteria below, and are admitted to University of Puget Sound, are eligible to be considered for the TPS Commitment. Of the TPS students admitted, we seek to enroll up to 30 students to receive the TPS Commitment, with preference given to those who demonstrate a commitment to the Tacoma community through work, service, and/or volunteerism. Those students admitted to Puget Sound who are not awarded the TPS Commitment will be eligible for both need-based and merit-based financial aid in accordance with standard awarding practices.

To qualify, students must:

  1. Apply to University of Puget Sound.
  2. Have been enrolled for three consecutive years and graduate from Henry Foss High School; Lincoln High School; Mount Tahoma High School; Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA); Science and Math Institute (SAMI); School of Industrial Design, Engineering, and Art (IDEA); Stadium High School; or Wilson High School.
  3. Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or qualify under the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523).
  4. 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.

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.

Admitted students who receive the TPS Commitment are expected to enroll for the term in which they apply; students who defer enrollment will be ineligible for the TPS Commitment.

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. Indirect costs are expenses incurred that are not billed by Puget Sound and include expenses for books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Please visit the Tuition and Fees section of our website for up-to-date information on Cost of Attendance and direct and indirect costs.

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 $3,500; 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?

Admitted students who are eligible for the TPS financial aid commitment will receive detailed information about the application process. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact our Office of Admission at or 253.879.3211.