Carroll College vs. PLU


Should I go to Carroll College or Pacific Lutheran University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Carroll College or PLU is the better college for you.

Carroll College Comparison

Carroll College vs. Pacific Lutheran University comparison
Carroll College PLU
Remove Remove
Location Helena, MT Tacoma, WA
Setting Remote Town Large Suburban
Students 1,335 3,207
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic Evangelical Lutheran Church
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $34,506 $42,066
Tuition (Out of State) $34,506 $42,066
Room & Board $9,760 $10,790
Avg Net Price $26,636 $24,567
Avg Grant Aid $20,475 $26,984
% Receiving Grant Aid 100% 99%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 78.3% 79.8%
Avg High School GPA 3.54 3.66
Admissions Standards Difficult Difficult
Applicant Competition
ACT Range 22/28 20/28
SAT Range 1070/1270 1070/1270
Application Deadline May 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 59% 66%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $47,500 $52,300
Making Student Loan Payments 81% 74%
Median Student Loan Debt $27,000 $25,800
Median Loan Payment $279 $266
Learn More Details Details

Comparable Facts

  • Pacific Lutheran University is larger than than Carroll College based on total student enrollment (3,207 students vs. 1,335 students)

Carroll College vs. PLU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Carroll College or PLU?

  • Pacific Lutheran University is 21.9% more expensive to attend than Carroll College for in-state tuition ($42,066.00 vs. $34,506.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 21.9% higher at PLU than Carroll College ($42,066.00 vs. $34,506.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Pacific Lutheran University than Carroll College ($24,567 vs. $26,636)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Carroll College are 10.6% lower than costs at Pacific Lutheran University ($9,760 vs. $10,790)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Carroll College than Pacific Lutheran University (100% vs. 99%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Pacific Lutheran University students is 31.8% larger than aid received Carroll College ($26,984 vs. $20,475)

Carroll College vs. PLU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Carroll College or PLU? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between PLU or Carroll College .

  • The average SAT score at Pacific Lutheran University (1117) is 7 points higher than at Carroll College (1110)
  • Incoming Carroll College students have at the same average ACT score (25) as students at PLU (25)
  • PLU has a higher acceptance rate (79.8%) than Carroll College (78.3%)

Carroll College vs. PLU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Carroll College or PLU? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between PLU and Carroll College.

  • The graduation rate at PLU is higher that Carroll College (66% vs. 59%)
  • Graduates from Pacific Lutheran University earn on average $4,800 more per year than Carroll College graduates after ten years. ($52,300 vs. $47,500)
  • Pacific Lutheran University students graduate with a $1,200 lower median federal student loan debt than Carroll College graduates. ($25,800 vs. $27,000)
  • PLU graduates are paying $13 less per month on federal student loans than Carroll College graduates. ($266 vs. $279)
  • More Carroll College graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former PLU students, three years after graduation. (81% vs. 74%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard