Tuition-Free Semester

Pacific’s tuition-free semester is intended to allow undergraduate students the opportunity to take advantage of some campus experiences that had to be limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To qualify, students must be undergraduates and be full time (i.e. complete a minimum of 12 credits) in both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 at Pacific University. Students not paying tuition in 2020-2021 are not eligible for the tuition-free semester. Students enrolled in fully online programs are not eligible for the tuition-free semester. 

Only students attending classes at the Forest Grove undergraduate campus (remote or in-person) are eligible. 

Students must enroll in the semester immediately following their expected degree completion date (as determined by the Registrar’s Office), i.e. students must be continuously enrolled. Students cannot return at a later date/year to take the tuition-free semester. 

Students pursuing the tuition-free semester are not guaranteed a seat in any specific classes. 

Graduate courses and undergraduate courses in optometry and dental hygiene are not included in the tuition-free semester. 

Students are urged to speak with their advisors. Some programs with particular licensure/certification requirements may limit what students can pursue during the tuition-free semester. 

Tuition-Free Semester FAQ

Can I graduate and then take the tuition free-semester?

Yes. The tuition-free semester is designed to be an “extra” semester to make up for experiences that may have been disrupted due to COVID-19. You must use your tuition-free semester in the semester immediately following your graduation. You may not return at a later date/year for the tuition-free semester. Once you have graduated, however, you are NOT eligible for undergraduate financial aid (federal, state, or institutional) because you will no longer be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.

Student-athletes cannot graduate and be eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics in subsequent years without enrolling full time in a graduate program. Those wishing to participate in intercollegiate athletics beyond their expected graduation date should meet with athletic administration and Academic and Career Advising to plan for the extended timeline.

Do I have to graduate before I take the tuition-free semester?

No. The tuition-free semester is designed to be an “extra” semester to make up for experiences that may have been disrupted due to COVID-19. So, if you started Pacific as a traditional first-year student you would expect to take eight semesters to graduate (unless you are enrolled in a five-year program). This offer gives you an extra ninth semester with no tuition. Some financial aid may not apply to your extra semester, so be sure to consult with the Financial Aid Office.

Do I have to stay for the extra semester?

No. This is entirely voluntary. 

Can I use my free semester now for the 2020-2021 year?

No. Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits in both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and pay tuition for the entire 2020-2021 academic year in order to qualify for the tuition-free semester.

If I stay at Pacific for the extra semester, do I pay anything?

You will not pay tuition during your extra semester, but you will still be responsible for paying all applicable fees and for room and board if you live on campus.

Can I use my Pacific scholarships and grants to pay for fees and on/off campus room and board or other expenses?

No. During this free semester, you are not eligible for any Pacific scholarships or grants. Eligibility for federal financial aid funding is based on a student’s individual circumstances; it is highly recommended that you speak with your financial aid counselor regarding eligibility for federal and state funding during the free semester. If you have graduated prior to your tuition-free semester, you are not eligible for any financial aid (federal, state or institutional).

If I take a leave of absence, does that affect my eligibility for the free semester?

Yes. If you take a leave of absence during the 2020-2021 year, you are not eligible for the tuition-free semester. You must be full time and paying tuition during the 2020-2021 year to be eligible.  

If you take a leave of absence during another semester, not during the 2020-2021 academic year, but prior to your anticipated graduation date, then the semester for which you are eligible to attend tuition-free would be also be delayed by the same amount of time as your leave of absence (e.g. one semester leave of absence means a one semester delay in when you are eligible for the tuition-free semester). 

Does the tuition-free semester apply to all undergraduates?

It applies to all Forest Grove Campus undergraduate students who are full time the entire 2020-2021 academic year (minimum of 12 credits in both Fall 2020 and minimum of 12 credits in Spring 2021). It does not apply to undergraduates outside of Forest Grove or to the Forest Grove BEd hybrid program, undergraduate optometry classes/students, or online communication sciences & disorders (CSD) classes/students.

Does the tuition-free semester apply to transfer students?

Yes, it applies to Forest Grove undergraduate transfer students who are full time (minimum of 12 credits in both Fall 2020 and minimum of 12 credits in Spring 2021) during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

How many credits can I take during my tuition-free semester?

You can take up to 12 tuition-free credits during your tuition-free semester. If you want to take more than 12 credits, you will need to pay tuition for the credits over 12.

Do I have to be enrolled full time (12 credits) during my extra, tuition-free semester?

No, you do not need to be enrolled full time. However your eligibility for other things, like athletics, may be affected by your enrollment, so make sure you check all of those things before you make a final decision. 

Can I spread my tuition-free credits out over more than one semester?

No. 

Can I use the extra, tuition-free semester to study abroad?

No, unfortunately you cannot. We can only cover the costs of undergraduate courses on the Forest Grove Campus.

Can I use the tuition-free semester to take a short-term travel course?

Yes, if a short-term travel course is scheduled during the regular fall or spring semester. Students will still have to pay all costs associated with the travel other than tuition. 

Can I use the extra, tuition-free semester to start a Pacific graduate or professional program?

No, the tuition waiver only covers undergraduate credits on the Forest Grove Campus.

Can I use the extra, tuition-free semester to start a second bachelor’s degree?

No. You can take classes that may transfer or apply to a second bachelor’s degree at another institution, but you may not pursue a second bachelor’s degree at Pacific. 

If am an athlete, can I participate in NCAA athletic competition during my tuition-free semester?

Possibly. Athletes must speak with Athletics and Academic and Career Advising to determine student-athlete eligibility during the tuition-free semester.

If I am a spring athlete, can I graduate in May but then come back the following spring for classes and to participate in athletics?

No, the tuition-free semester needs to be directly after your final semester of classes. Athletes should talk with Athletics and the Academic and Career Advising Center to make sure that they are scheduled appropriately to qualify for participation in athletics during their tuition-free semester.

How do I find out if I qualify for the tuition-free semester?

You will need to complete an application on the Financial Aid webpages. We will determine what your expected graduation date would be and confirm that you have been full time and paying tuition during the 2020-2021 academic year.

If I graduate in Spring or Summer and I return in the fall for the tuition-free semester, can I add a minor or major?

No. Credits earned after a degree has been conferred will not apply to that degree in any way. You can take classes, but you cannot apply your extra semester’s credits retroactively to a degree already conferred. 

Will the classes I take during my tuition-free semester affect my Pacific GPA?

It depends. If you have already graduated, no change will be made to the GPA of your degree, but the cumulative transcript GPA will incorporate new grades. If you have not yet graduated, any coursework you take during your tuition-free semester will be included in your degree GPA. 

What happens if I still have not completed my degree requirements after my tuition-free semester?

Students who need to return after the tuition-free semester to complete degree requirements will be responsible for all tuition and fees from that point forward.

Will academic standings (e.g. warning, probation, suspension) be evaluated during my tuition-free semester?

Yes. 

Can 3-2 Engineering students participate in the tuition-free semester?

Yes, but only following your three years of Pacific coursework. Students cannot return to Pacific after their two years of engineering coursework for the tuition-free semester.

Can I use my tuition-free semester for January term or summer school?

No.

When do I register for classes for my tuition-free semester?

If you have already completed your degree, you will register after all current, continuing students register. If you have not yet completed your degree, you will register in your normally assigned registration time block. 

Can I get a refund/paid for the cost of tuition if I do not enroll in the tuition-free semester, or if I withdraw part way through the semester?

No.