by Kimberly Rivers

The cost of college can be a limiting factor for many students making decisions about where they apply and attend. In an effort to reduce the impact of cost on that decision, California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks is extending a program that matches the cost of attending the public University of California undergraduate campuses, essentially providing a $30,000 scholarship to all new CLU students. 

Students who were accepted to UC campuses can pay the same tuition to attend CLU, and now CLU has expanded the program to include all students admitted to all UC campuses. Previously the program, called Public Price Promise, was available to all freshmen and transfer students who were accepted to UC campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego or Santa Barbara. This year it has been expanded to include the campuses at Merced, Riverside and Santa Cruz.  

The program has been in place at CLU since 2008 and the school reports that 814 students have received over $51 million in scholarships. Today, 193 CLU students are benefiting from the program. Satisfactory academic progress and minimum GPA requirements do apply, and if met allow the scholarship to be renewed each year. The amount automatically increases if the costs of CLU and UC increase, but will never decrease. Freshman can renew the scholarship for four years; transfer students can renew up to two years depending on starting grade level. 

 “We can provide a broader scope of options to a more diverse group of students who may not have initially placed Cal Lutheran on their lists because they didn’t think a private education was attainable,” said Michael Elgarico, dean of undergraduate admission and outreach at CLU. 

For the 2021-22 school year, the value of the scholarship is $28,182. Current CLU costs for a year’s tuition, fees, books and living expenses for full-time residential students is $65,186. The average price of attending a UC campus is $37,655. 

 CLU will announce the 2022-23 scholarship award amount this spring when UC has set their tuition and fees. 

All students applying for the traditional undergraduate and bachelor’s degree for professional programs at CLU qualify for the program, which has no income requirements. The scholarships are available to out-of-state and international students. Federal, state and other institutional financial aid based on need is also available and can reduce the cost of attending CLU. 

 For more information, visit or contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 805-493-3135 or