10 Scholarships to Apply for This Fall

I hope last month’s “Five Tips for Finding College Scholarships” post inspired many of you to start looking for college scholarships, but if you need a few suggestions, here are 10 scholarships available to high school seniors that have application deadlines within the next few months. Even if you don’t have an amazing GPA, there are plenty of scholarships you may be eligible for! And don’t forget, PUC’s scholarship deadline is March 2nd!

1. Education Matters Scholarship
Deadline: November 31, 2014

These days, there’s a lot in the news about whether or not college is worth it. Spoiler alert: It is. This scholarship asks students to write a short essay in response to the question of “What would you say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter, or that college is a waste of time and money?” The winner receives $5,000.

2. Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Deadline: January 14, 2015

Every year, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program awards scholarships to 1,000 minority students who have demonstrated leadership skills by participating in extracurricular activities and community service. Students must be African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American and have a minimum unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.3.

3. Tall Clubs International Scholarship
Deadline: February 15, 2015

Are you tall? To be more specific, are you a guy that’s at least 6’2” or a girl that’s at least 5’10”? If you are, you should apply for this $1,000 scholarship! You will need to write an essay on the subject of “What Being Tall Means to Me.” Contact Tall Clubs International for more information.

4. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th, 2015

The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides college scholarships of up to $24,000 over four years to minority students that show “leadership potential and dedication to community service” and also demonstrate financial need. Typically 60 students are awarded each year.

5. Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest
Deadline: February 18, 2015

If you have even one artistic bone in your body, it’s worth taking the time to apply for this $10,000 scholarship. The contest is to design the front of a greeting card and the winning entry will actually be made and sold as a real greeting card!

6. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Deadline: February 20, 2015

The Vegetarian Resource Group awards scholarships to graduating high school students who have helped to promote vegetarianism in their school or local community. One award of $10,000 is given as well as two awards of $5,000.

7. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest Deadline: March 3, 2015 Applicants must submit a collage, drawing, graphic design piece, painting, photograph, poem or another creative entry discussing what they hope to achieve in both their personal and professional life after college. Five winners receive $1,000, and the grand prize winner also receives an additional $1,000 to be given to their college.

8. Common Knowledge Scholarship
Deadline: None

Think of this ongoing scholarship program like taking BuzzFeed quizzes, only if you do well, you can receive scholarship money. Competitions include one or more quizzes on topics that range from academic subjects or even books and movies, and the student with the highest score at the end of each competition wins. Students can compete more than once, and are able to receive up to $5,000.

9. Zinch.com $1,000 Weekly Scholarship
Deadline: Weekly

Each week, Zinch posts an essay topic question and the winner with the best answer receives $1,000. The “essays” are limited to 280 characters, which is essentially two tweets on Twitter – hardly anything! Set a reminder on your phone and apply for this scholarship once a week.

10. Niche.com “No Essay” Scholarship
Deadline: Monthly

This $2,000 scholarship is essentially entering a random drawing every month. I don’t think scholarships get any easier. I don’t want to hear any excuses about it, you are all capable of doing this!

Six Questions with PUC’s Pre-Nursing Advisor

The nursing program at PUC is hands down our most popular major. There are many reasons for that – one being the high demand for nurses in our country but another is how well our program prepares its graduates. We sat down with Lorie Johns, the pre-nursing advisor at PUC, and asked her some of the questions our office gets the most about the program.

Q: What’s the advantage of PUC’s nursing program over other nursing programs in the area?

A: PUC’s nursing programs do not have waitlists or lotteries for their admissions process – all applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered for admission; small class sizes/clinical instructor to student ratios; caring instructors and support staff who are committed to student success.

Nursing 2

PUC nursing students conduct exams in local grade schools.

Q: How long does it take to complete the nursing program at PUC? Do I start taking nursing classes right away?

A: PUC’s AS nursing program is a full time program that takes six quarters to complete (two school years). Students then have two options for completing the coursework for the BSN program: the full time BSN program takes an additional three quarters (one additional school year), and the part time BSN program takes 18 months but allows students to work full time as RNs while completing the BSN course work. (See curriculum guide sheets for both programs here.)

Q: How strict is the Nursing Department with the requirements for admission into the program?

A: Applicants must meet all of the eligibility requirements in order to be considered for admission to the AS and BSN degree programs at PUC. This policy seeks to insure that students admitted to those programs are well prepared for success in the core nursing courses. (Learn more about the requirements for each program here.)

Q: Is PUC’s nursing program impacted?

A: Not at all. We admit three groups of AS nursing students each school year, with 27 students in each group.

Q: Can I double major with nursing? I’m thinking of pre-med and nursing.

A: Yes, if you are comfortable with the fact that combining majors likely means it will take more than four years to complete all of the degree requirements for the programs you have chosen.

Nursing 1

Q: Do you think having a BSN is necessary in today’s workforce?

A: Yes, I do think the BSN is absolutely necessary for new grad nurses. This is the direction that the entire field of nursing is moving: The Institute of Medicine has set the goal of having 80% of US nurses BSN-prepared by 2020 (“80% by 2020” – learn more here). In the Bay Area, there are already a number of facilities and organizations that are not accepting applications from new grad nurses who do not have a BSN. Certainly there are many exciting opportunities for students to pursue additional education and training, and completing the BSN degree would be the first step towards graduate level programs such as Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Editor’s note: The AS degree nursing program at PUC is approved by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and both the AS and BSN degree nursing programs at PUC are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly the NLNAC). If you would like to learn more about nursing at PUC, please visit our Admissions website or contact the Nursing Department at 707.965.7262 or nursingoffice@puc.edu.

Staying Fit in College

Everyone’s heard of the dreaded “Freshman 15”. You begin college and suddenly you gain 15 pounds and find yourself in dire need of cash for some new jeans. Now, as a poor college student, that’s not ideal so let’s skip the extra pounds and empty wallets by using some easy tips to stay fit!

Take the stairs
Any college you go to is going to have stairs, so, take them! Who needs to spend hours on a stairmaster when you can just choose the stairs over the elevator? If you choose to attend PUC, you’ll have the best legs around because there are a lot of stairs, which is something I didn’t always appreciate but now miss as I run every night in a Fitness Center.

Leave your car and walk
I know the thought of getting up 10 minutes earlier and walking to class sounds rough, especially when you have a perfectly good car parked outside your dorm and it might even be cold! But ditch your car and walk to class. It’ll save you gas money AND help keep you fit!

Go for the healthy cafe options
Starting college offers most students a new experience – eating whatever you want, whenever you want! The thought of unlimited ice cream, donuts and chips can be very enticing but try opting for the healthier options (at least some of the time). Like many colleges these days, PUC’s Dining Commons offers healthy and locally grown options so instead of grabbing a bag of chips on the run, have a salad or some fruit instead. And remember, no one said you couldn’t have a cheat day now and then!

Avoid the post-workout burrito
You’ve just finished a great 60 minute workout in the school’s Fitness Center and you’re feeling hungry, so you run to the cafe and have the famous Burrito Lady make you a giant world class burrito. You are now officially a PUC student! I know this sounds like an epic night but don’t do it. As good as those burritos are, you’ve now just undone all your hard work. Avoid the post-workout binge!

Join an intramural team
As you’ve read in our “Fire It Up!” post, PUC’s intramural program is second to none! Not only is this a fantastic way to meet friends and get involved but it is the best way I can think of to stay fit. No endless running on a treadmill or around and around a track!

Take full advantage of the back 40
Any college you choose is going to have places nearby to run or walk but not all places are going to be like PUC, which has over 30 miles of hiking, biking and running trails. Take full advantage of the beautiful property and get outside and explore! Run or walk along the Angwin Airport, visit one of the two observatories or take off on the trails for the afternoon. And if you ask nicely, I might even let you take this little face for a walk! (I just really want people to walk my dog.)


Five Tips for Finding College Scholarships

It can be really scary thinking about how you’re going to pay for college. The overall price may seem intimidating, but keep in mind that nobody pays that sticker price. Scholarships can substantially lower the price families pay for a college education. PUC offers many scholarships that can help, but the reality is we can’t always offer as much financial aid as some students might need. Don’t worry, though! It’s estimated that there are 1.5 million scholarships in the United States alone, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to start your scholarship search.

1. Think Locally

Take a look around your community for scholarship opportunities – you might be surprised at what you find in your area. Your local Rotary Club and Kiwanis International Club may offer college scholarships, as could your chamber of commerce. Other businesses and community groups could provide college scholarships as well. Your high school guidance counselor may also have ideas of where you can look nearby for scholarships. One big advantage of applying for local scholarships is that there’s far less competition for them than there are for state or national scholarships – you have a greater chance at receiving them! Remember to check with your church too.

2. Get Online

I talk with a lot of students who worry they won’t receive any scholarships since they don’t have a 4.0 GPA, but keep in mind scholarships aren’t just for students with a great GPA. There are non-academic scholarships available based on your major field of interest, hobbies, and more. There are many places you can look online for college scholarships, but I recommend starting with these two sites:

  • Fastweb: Fastweb is considered to be the premiere scholarship website with over 1 million scholarships worth over $3 billion.
  • SchoolSoup: Another great resource, SchoolSoup can match you to scholarships you may be eligible for. The site has over 250,000 scholarships.

Also take a look at our extensive list of outside scholarships available on our Admissions website.

3. Write One Good Essay

Obviously, you’re going to need to write more than just one essay when applying for scholarships, but you will likely be able to use certain parts of an essay more than once. Have the basics – your career goals, personal statement, and academic career thus far – perfected, as you will likely use that information repeatedly. These essays could determine whether or not you’re awarded a great deal of money, so it’s worth spending time on them to make  sure you present yourself well.

4. Put the Time In

The internet can be both a blessing and a curse. There’s a wealth of information available right at your fingertips, but there’s also countless distractions that can quickly take you down the rabbit hole. Before you know it, you’ve spent two hours taking BuzzFeed quizzes and not doing what you intended to do. Treat applying for college scholarships as though it was your job – try spending an hour each day or at least several hours a week searching and applying for scholarships. That time could be the difference in receiving thousands of dollars in scholarships.

When I first began working for Enrollment, our Student Finance office told us the story of a student whose entire first year of college was paid with scholarships. She dedicated herself to applying for 1,000 scholarships, which is just amazing. That may be an unrealistic goal for many of you, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and set your sights high.

5. Don’t Get Scammed

Unfortunately, there are people out there that try to take advantage of students looking for ways to afford college. Always be careful about the information you give out, and there’s no reason you should ever pay for access to a database of scholarships or to apply for a scholarship. Only apply for scholarships from organizations and websites you trust, and a good rule to follow is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you believe you’ve been a victim of scholarship fraud, immediately contact the California Attorney General’s office at 800.952.5225.

At PUC, we have five Financial Counselors ready to help if you have questions about scholarships or finances. Call 800.865.7080 option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor today.

We’re Here to Help!

There are several invaluable academic resources at your disposal when you’re a PUC student and if you’re struggling with something, it’s important to remember you aren’t alone. There are people in place who are available to answer your questions or provide you with additional information — you just need to ask for help.

Professor Levi Gore instructs students in class.

Professor Levi Gore instructs students in class.

Your Professors
One of the advantages of attending a smaller college like PUC is forming real relationships with your professors. With a student-teacher ratio of 13:1, that means your teacher will actually know your name and who you are.

Most professors give out their email address and their home number at the start of each quarter and can help you outside of class with any questions you have about assignments. Professors also have regular office hours (at least 10 hours per week!) where they’re available for students to stop by and talk with as well.

Your Advisor
You will be assigned an advisor in the area you’re studying. For example, if you’re planning to study Business, your advisor will be a professor in the Business Department (helpful, right?). Your advisor knows the ins and outs of their department’s programs and will be a valuable source for any questions you have about what classes you should take, what major you should consider for your career path, and more. Every quarter your advisor will need to approve your schedule, which is a great safety net for making sure you stay on track to complete your degree!


Jennifer Wareham Best at the TLC helps a student.

The Teaching and Learning Center
The Teaching and Learning Center offers free group tutoring for more than 25 different courses. If you’re struggling with a class but don’t see a tutoring option available, talk with the TLC and they can set you up with a small group or an individual tutor.

If you’re nervous or embarrassed at the thought of seeking out a tutor, don’t be! As an English and History major, one of my most difficult classes was Intro to Statistics (math and I don’t get along), but I was too proud to admit I needed help for several weeks. When I eventually went to a tutoring session at the TLC I was surprised to find many of the top students in the class there, as well. Their great grades were a product of seeking help when they needed it!

The Career and Counseling Center
Some of you may not know what you want to study yet, and our Career and Counseling Center can help you figure out the path you should be on. They have a career counselor who can give you a career test and one-on-one help with career counseling. If already you have an idea of what career you want but aren’t sure how to get there, they can help you with your resume, cover letter, and even conduct some mock job interviews with you.

Get to Know PUC’s Career & Counseling Center

By Laura Gore Laura-Gore
Career Counselor
Career & Counseling Center

College can be a lot of fun but is also a time of big decisions. It is a time of exploration and discovery, trying to find who you are and where you’re supposed to fit in in a lot of ways, especially socially and professionally. I see this a lot as PUC’s Career Counselor. I struggled in college with knowing what to major in and where I wanted to go with my life, but I eventually found a great fit as a social work major and now as a career counselor. That didn’t mean I had all the answers (still don’t, in case you were wondering). It also doesn’t mean I have all the answers for you. It does mean I’ve been there, and I’ve worked with a lot of students trying to figure things out over the last few years. PUC has a lot to offer as you are exploring your options and getting ready to launch as a professional. Here are a few of the things we do to help you along the way:

  • One-on-one help for career counseling, employment/internship preparation (i.e. we work on resumes and cover letters together), mock interviews, career testing, grad school personal statements, job or internship search strategies and more
  • Monthly resume clinics
  • Regular workshops on resume writing, interviewing, and job searching
  • An online job and internship board with local and national opportunities
  • On-campus recruiter visits and interviews
  • Events like the Grad School Fair and Career Day

The Grad School Fair is coming up quickly, on October 15 this year, and is open to all students. We have a wide range of schools and programs represented and it’s a great chance to see what some options after PUC might be, everything from Physical Therapy to International Relations to Anthropology.

Career Day is a special 30-some-year-old tradition at PUC where we bring professionals (usually 50-60) from all different fields to the dining commons to chat with you about what they do and how they got there—and what advice they have for you. Many of them are PUC alumni, so you can learn firsthand where your major can take you. Some are even recruiting for internships or jobs, so you never know what a connection made here can do for you.

Instead of having an Internship & Job Fair as we have had in the past, we are planning a more individualized approach with the departments and students’ interests, which is one advantage of attending a small school. We’ve already got a few recruiters planning visits this fall for interviews for internships for spring and summer, and our Business and Communication departments even have internship coordinators dedicated to helping their majors. As a PUC student you’ll have resources and I think you’ll find PUC a great place to get you ready for what’s next.

The key thing is for you to not be afraid—get out there and try things, get experience (notice the theme of a lot of recent blog posts: internships, volunteer, serve, get involved…), and take advantage of the opportunities and resources we have waiting for you here at PUC.

Check out these resources:

P.S. The Career & Counseling Center is also where you can access free, confidential counseling on a variety of issues. See our website for more information.

My Favorite Places: The Authoritative Edition

By now you’ve heard Dana and Brennan give you their top five(ish) places to spend time around here. And they’re both wonderful people, but I know you’ve been craving another perspective: My perspective. So without further ado, here are my five favorite places around PUC.

1. Napa Riverfront

I’m a free spirit. I like to have options when it comes to my spare time. So when I heard about a place where I could find authentic gelato, mouthwatering tri tip, stage plays in the park, and an opera house within walking distance of each other, I was sold. Even if you’re broke, Napa’s Riverfront is a beautiful place to walk around, whether you’re down by the river or on the lawns by the courthouse. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood for grub, culture, or a simple afternoon at the park; the riverfront is the place to be. Feed the geese at your own peril.

2. San Francisco


I may have been born in Los Angeles, and Southern California will always be the best.  But I have to admit that San Francisco is a great place to visit. (Please don’t tell my family.) If you’re a diehard chocolate fan, Ghirardelli Square deserves a pilgrimage. From there, you can walk down to Pier 39 to get food, play some arcade games, and see a bunch of harbor seals tanning on the docks. If I’m itching for a day at the museum, the Exploratorium and the Academy of the Sciences are a blast. And there’s always the Warfield Theater if you’re in the mood to catch a show. In short, San Francisco has something for everyone, and it’s right in our backyard. Catch the BART train into Union Station if you don’t want to hassle with traffic or parking.

3. Albion Retreat and Learning Center


PUC owns a marine research facility up near the Mendocino coast, with cabins lined up along the river. Students are welcome to reserve cabins or camping spots for a weekend. “But Jordan,” you say, “I have virtually no knowledge of tide pools or marine ecosystems. What will I do at a research field station?” Fear not! The Albion Retreat and Learning Center is open to all, even if you can’t tell a turtle from a tortoise. You can take a kayak up the river and see all kinds of wildlife along the way. Downtown Mendocino is a short drive up the road, with dozens of old shops to duck into. The bookstore and the toy shop are mandatory stops for me whenever I’m in town. Or you can just pick a spot on the beach and enjoy the rugged beauty of the Northern California coast. Albion is a bit of a commute at about two and a half hours away from campus, but even the drive is spectacular, since it takes you through the Redwoods and along the cliffs by the sea. If you can spare a weekend, I highly recommend a trip up to our little field station.

4. Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen

I was skeptical when I visited this newer restaurant on Main Street St. Helena, mostly because I fear the unknown and am uncomfortable with change. I’d always thought the Himalayas were a place where people went to get frostbite and have a hard time breathing, not a destination for fine dining but my cultural ignorance was crushed by a stack of buttered naan. I may not be able to pronounce all the dishes I like, but I have yet to be disappointed. It’s an authentic Himalayan experience without the expensive air fare and risk of death from exposure.

5. Cameo Cinema

The Cameo Cinema is tucked between the storefronts of Main Street, Saint Helena. It’s easy to miss in passing but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve spent the afternoon at this 140-seat movie theater. They play all the hits, and they also show a lot of cool movies you might not see at the franchised theaters. There was one week during my senior year when we saw The Avengers, and then followed it up with an award-winning independent film the next day. After all the years I’ve been up here, the Cameo is still my go-to place to catch a movie.

There’s more stuff do around here than you could ever hope to accomplish in four years, but these are the five places I keep coming back to above all the others. I’m sure you’ll develop your own list of favorite places after visiting PUC and the beautiful Napa Valley.