Five Reasons Why Being in Nature is Good for You

An aerial shot of just a slice of PUC’s 1,600 acres.

There are countless studies about the health benefits of spending time in nature, from memory improvement to reducing stress to increasing creativity. With over 1,600 acres of land, PUC’s unique location promotes active learning, both in and outside of the classroom. Here are just five reasons why studying in an environment like PUC can be beneficial to both your physical and mental health.

It can reduce stress.

According to a 2014 study conducted in Japan, participants who walked in a forest showed significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (which indicates less stress and more relaxation) as well as reported having a better mood and less anxiety than participants who had taken a walk in an urban setting. A similar study in Finland came to the same conclusion, where participants took a walk for as little as 20 minutes and yet still exhibited positive results.

It can help prevent depression.

There are great psychological benefits to spending time in nature, one of which being that it can help prevent depression. A 2015 study conducted by Stanford University featured in The Atlantic found participants who took a 90-minute walk through nature had less obsessive and negative thoughts than participants who walked in an urban setting.

Editor’s Note: Depression and anxiety are serious issues and nature isn’t always the cure. If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, please seek professional assistance for their input on how best to proceed.

It can help increase short-term memory.

One health benefit to being in a rural setting that might be of particular interest to college students is that it has been linked to improving short-term memory, which can be helpful if you need to do some last minute cramming! In a 2008 study by the University of Michigan, participants were split into two groups following a memory test; a group that walked around an arboretum while the other walked down a busy city street. Upon their return, all participants took the test again, and those who walked among trees scored close to 20 percent better compared to the first time they took the test. The results for the group who walked on the street did not improve.

It increases creativity.

The more time you spend outdoors and away from the stresses of daily life, the greater your level of creativity, according to an article by the Huffington Post. A group of backpackers were given the Remote Associates Test, a standard test of creativity, before going on a long hike. Another group of backpackers were given the test as well, but this time it was proctored four days into their hike. These backpackers scored nearly 50 percent higher in creativity compared to the first group.

It makes you happier.

According to a study from 2014 featured in Psychology Today, there is a direct correlation between nature and happiness. Participants were asked a series of questions to measure their connectedness to things such as family, friends, country, culture, music, and nature. Researchers found the relationship between nature and happiness was highly significant.

There are endless opportunities to spend time in nature at PUC; from biology research trips in Alaska to working with the Land Trust of Napa County to clear shrubbery in a nearby forest. There are also several outdoor exercise science courses, such as canoeing, cycling, and jogging in the college’s forest property. PUC has also offered several specialized summer courses, including workshops on watercolor and biology research, at the Albion Retreat and Learning Center, the college’s field station on the Mendocino coast. Come be a PUC Pioneer and immerse yourself in God’s beautiful Creation. To talk with an enrollment counselor, email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2.

Students enjoy a run on one of the many trails of the college’s property.

10 Scholarships to Apply for This Spring

Have so much scholarship money you can chew on it.

Have so much scholarship money you can chew on it.

(via Cash Cat)

Seniors, if you’re still looking for ways to help pay your college tuition this fall, this blog post is for you. Here is a list of 10 scholarships open to high school seniors with application deadlines this spring—and even a few into the summer, for those of you who need a little extra time!

1. Project Yellow Light
Deadline: April 1, 2017
Award amount: Varies

In honor of Hunter Garner, who was killed in a car accident, this scholarship asks students to create a 25 or 55 second video to encourage teens not to drive distracted. The winner receives a $5,000 scholarship, while the second place winner receives $2,000. Third place gets you $1,000.

2. The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest
Deadline: April 5, 2017
Award amount: $1,000

This fun contest asks contestants to come up with a clever promposal idea incorporating Duck Tape, and then posting a photo or video of it to social media with the hashtag #DuckTapePromposal.

3. The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship
Deadline: April 7, 2017
Award amount: $2,000

Taking an 8-question multiple choice test after reading an essay from the American Fire Sprinkler Association could earn you $2,000. For every question you answer correctly, you will receive one entry into a drawing for one of 10 $2,000 scholarships.

4. Unigo’s All About Education Scholarship
Deadline: April 30, 2017
Award amount: $3,000

This scholarship asks you to write a short essay (250 words or less) in response to the question “How will a $3,000 scholarship for education make a difference in your life?”

5. The Sports Unlimited Scholarship
Deadline: April 25, 2017
Award amount: $1,000

Write an essay between 500 and 1,000 words about how to improve a piece of gear or equipment currently used in a sport for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.

6. The Momentrix College Scholarship
Deadline: May 19, 2017
Award amount: $2,500

For this scholarship, you write an essay of 2,000 characters or less (approximately 400 words) about how the work you put in ahead of time helped you overcome adversity and achieve a goal. The essays will be put online for visitors to vote for their favorite essay. There are first, second, and third place prizes of $2,500, $1,000, and $500, respectively.

7. The Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarship
Deadline: May 31, 2017
Award amount: $1,000

This scholarship awards five winners $1,000 each, as well as gives each winner’s school a $500 grant and Krylon supplies. To apply, you must submit a portfolio, an artistic statement, a letter of reference, and your transcripts.

8. Unigo’s Do Over Scholarship
Deadline: June 30, 2017
Award amount: $1,500

This scholarship asks you to write a short essay (250 words or less) in response to the question “If you could get one ‘do-over’ in life, what would it be and why?”

9. The Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Award amount: Varies

If you have a way with words, this scholarship may be for you. Created in memory of Harold G. Henderson, the cofounder the Haiku Society of America, applicants must submit five unpublished haikus. The winner receives $150, and their haiku will be published in the Frogpond magazine and on the Haiku Society of America’s website. Second prize receives $100 and third prize $50.

10. Unigo’s Flavor of the Month Scholarship
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Award amount: $1,500

Another short essay scholarship, this one asks you to write in 250 words or less a response to the question “ If you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be and why?”

Five Reasons You Need the PUC Mobile App

unknownDid you know PUC has its own mobile app? It’s true!

The PUC mobile app is available on both iOs and Android.

While there are many great things about the app, such as quick links to the college’s social media accounts, blog, videos, and more, here are just five reasons why you should download the PUC mobile app to help make student life easier at PUC.

1. Stay up-to-date with PUC news articles. If you find yourself not knowing what’s happening on campus, look no further than the news section of the PUC mobile app. Here you can quickly browse through news articles as well as search the archives (as far back as 1996).

2. Use the PUC calendar to know what’s happening on campus. While certainly not a comprehensive list, the PUC calendar is a great place to look to see what events are planned on campus. You can even add events to your iPhone calendar and be alerted when they are coming up. If you’re planning an event at PUC and would like it to be added to the calendar, email calendar@puc.edu.

3. Check out the PUC cafe menu to see what’s for lunch. I will readily admit this is the section I click to the most on the app: the daily menu for what’s being served at the Dining Commons.

4. Search the PUC directory for faculty and staff contact information. Need to reach someone on campus, but aren’t sure how to contact them? Search the people directory on the PUC mobile app, which includes both faculty and staff. You can call or email them from the app as well.

5. Browse the PUC Library catalog. Whether you’re looking for a book to use as a source for that term paper or simply something for fun, you can browse through the college library catalog directly from the app.

Need help? The PUC mobile app also has a contact section where you can submit a question for a PUC representative to get back to you.

10 Scholarships to Apply for This Winter

This could be you.

This could be you.

(via Cash Cat)

This is the second post in what will be a series throughout the school year featuring outside scholarships for high school seniors. If you missed the first post, “15 Scholarships to Apply for This Fall,” many of those scholarship deadlines are still open so be sure to take a look!

Below are 10 scholarships that have application deadlines within the next several months. Don’t forget to check out PUC’s scholarships, many of which are due March 2, 2017!

1. DoSomething.org’s Take Back the Shelves Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2017
Award amount: $5,000

To apply for this scholarship, applicants need to sign up for facts about tobacco and resources for how to get pharmacies to stop selling and advertising tobacco, as well as create an illustration about what should be advertised in place of tobacco products. Artwork can be shared on social media using the hashtag #TakeBackTheShelves.

2. Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships
Deadline: January 18, 2017
Award amount: $1,000

The Ronald McDonald House Charities has four different scholarship opportunities for students:

  • RMHC/Scholars: All students are eligible to apply regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin
  • RMHC/Asia: Applicant must have at least one parent of Asian-Pacific heritage
  • RMHC/African-American Future Achievers: Applicant must have at least one parent of African American or Black Caribbean heritage
  • RMHC/HACER: Applicant must have at least one parent of Hispanic/Latino heritage

Typically winners are awarded a minimum of $1,000.

3. Hollister Co Anti-Bullying Scholarship Program
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Award amount: $2,500 (renewable up to $7,500)

This scholarship is awarded to students who have academically persevered while experiencing bullying as well as for students who have led anti-bullying efforts in their schools and communities.

4. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: February 15, 2017
Award amount: $28,000

The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides college scholarships of up to $28,000 over four years to minority students who show “leadership potential and dedication to community service” and also demonstrate financial need. Typically 60 students are awarded each year.

5. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Deadline: February 20, 2017
Award amount: $10,000

To apply for this scholarship, applicants need to have demonstrated “compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet/lifestyle.” Two runners-up will receive $5,000 each.

6. Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge
Deadline: February 23, 2017
Award amount: $15,000

For this scholarship, applicants need to create a video (up to 60 seconds in length) encouraging other teen drives to drive safely. The grand prize winner receives $15,000 and then works with a professional film crew to reshoot their entry into a PSA to be aired on TV. There are eight other monetary awards for runners-up.

7. Unigo’s Sweet and Simple Scholarship
Deadline: February 28, 2017
Award amount: $1,500

Applicants are asked to respond to the following writing prompt: “Not every gift has to be expensive or extravagant. In fact, sometimes it’s the sweet and simple things that make a real difference in our lives. Think back and tell us about something you received as a gift and why it meant so much to you.” Entries must be 250 words or less.

8. Frame My Future 2017 Contest
Deadline: March 1, 2017
Award amount: $1,000

Applicants can submit a collage, drawing, graphic design piece, painting, photograph, poem, or another creative entry expressing what they hope to achieve in both their personal and professional life after graduating from college. Five winners receive $1,000, and the grand prize winner also receives an additional $1,000 to be given to their college.

9. Create-a-Greeting-Card Contest
Deadline: March 2, 2017
Award amount: $10,000

Calling all artists! It’s worth taking the time to apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit a design for the front of a greeting card and the winning entry will be made and sold as a real greeting card.

10. Unigo’s Superpower Scholarship
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Award amount: $2,500

How many of us have daydreamed about what we would do if we had a superpower? The possibilities are endless. This short essay contest asks applicants to answer the question “Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?” Entries must be 250 words or less.

Keep an eye out for our next outside scholarship post with scholarships that have application deadlines this spring!

Editor’s note: The information provided on this post is for informational purposes only. Pacific Union College makes no claims regarding the accuracy, currentness, or validity of the information provided here and will not be liable for any errors.

15 Scholarships to Apply for This Fall

Don’t let Cash Cat steal your college cash!

Don’t let Cash Cat steal your college cash!

(via Cash Cat)

High school juniors and seniors, if you haven’t already started your college scholarship search, the time is now! Below are 15 unique scholarships with application deadlines within the next three months, based on things such as leadership experience, artistic abilities, volunteer service, athletic performance, and more. Even if you don’t have an amazing GPA, don’t be discouraged–there are plenty of scholarships you may be eligible for!

Also, be sure to check out PUC’s scholarships, many of which are due March 2, 2017!

1. The Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship
Deadline: November 15, 2016
Award amount: $20,000

This scholarship is given in recognition of students for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. The scholarship is awarded to 150 winners each year.

2. The Youth Noise Scholarship Program
Deadline: November 21, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

For this scholarship, students can create a 2-5 minute video explaining how new ideas can shape the world and why education is the key to helping create a brighter future.

3. Unigo’s Education Matters Scholarship
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Award amount: $5,000

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?”

4. The Sallie Mae $5,000 Plan for College Sweepstakes 
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Award amount: $5,000

This random drawing selects one winner, chosen December 1, 2016.

5. Niche.com “No Essay” College Scholarship
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Award amount: $2,000

This random drawing selects one scholarship winner per month.

6. The Look Twice, Save a Life Scholarship
Deadline: December 1, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

This is a great scholarship for any student with a motorcycle-driving parent or other relative! Put together a video, essay, or artwork encouraging other students to look twice for motorcycles when behind the wheel.

7. Cards Against Humanity’s Science Ambassador Scholarship
Deadline: December 11, 2016
Award amount: 100% tuition

Funded by Cards Against Humanity, this scholarship is open to women seeking an undergraduate degree in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). You must submit a three minute video explaining a scientific topic you’re passionate about.

8. The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship
Deadline: December 16, 2016
Award amount: $25,000

The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program awards student athletes who have demonstrated excellence not just on their team, but also in school and in their community. Twenty winners are chosen to receive the scholarship; the grand prize is $25,000 while the remaining awards are $20,000.

9. The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,750

The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Scholarship is open to students interested in the environment and conservation. To apply, you need to conduct an environmental stewardship project, and write an essay about the project that includes photos.

10. DoSomething.org’s Senior Story Swap Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $5,000

This scholarship encourages students to go out into their community and connect with older adults. Sign up to receive facts on isolation among older Americans and tips on how to have the best one-on-one interaction possible to be entered into the scholarship contest.

11. The Fountain Essay Contest 2016
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

Offered by the Fountain Magazine, this contest asks students to write a 1,500-2,500 word essay on the issues facing today’s immigrants.

12. The MoolahSPOT $1,000 Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

Presented by MoolahSPOT.com, this essay contest asks you to respond to one of the following questions, in 400 words or less:

  • Why do you deserve to win this scholarship?
  • What is your academic or career goal?
  • Describe what is most important to you and why
  • Or, you can write an essay on any topic of your choice

13. Unigo’s Top Ten List Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,500

A relatively simple scholarship, this one asks students to write 10 reasons why you should win the scholarship, in 250 words or less.

14. Unigo’s $10k Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $10,000

Another short essay contest, students must respond to the question of “Is college worth it for you?” in only 250 words or less.

15. The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 5, 2017
Award amount: $40,000

This prestigious scholarship is given in honor of our nation’s 40th president to students who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship at school, at work, and within their local community.

Editor’s note: The information provided on this post is for informational purposes only. Pacific Union College makes no claims regarding the accuracy, currentness, or validity of the information provided here and will not be liable for any errors.

Five Financial Things You Can Do Now

The fall is always a busy time of year for high school students (and their parents!) as they finish their college applications and start to work on determining how much financial aid they’re eligible for. This year in particular can be stressful, with new changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), more information about which can be found at puc.edu/financeresources. The following is a short list to help keep you on track now that FAFSA has opened—it’s time to get ready for next year!

Apply to college

  • If you haven’t already, apply to PUC at puc.edu/apply
  • Be sure to list your Social Security Number so PUC can access your FAFSA
  • Send in your transcripts and one letter of reference

Submit the FAFSA
(Starting October 1)

  • Get your FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov, which will serve as your legal signature when you submit the FAFSA; your parents should get one too
  • Start your FAFSA at fafsa.gov—have income information from the previous tax year available to refer back to
  • Be sure to include PUC’s school code (001258) to have your data sent to PUC
  • List at least one in-state college, otherwise you may be ineligible to apply for Cal Grant (CA residents only)
  • Sign your FAFSA with both your FSA ID and your parent’s ID; keep proof of completion

Submit a GPA verification form to the California Student Aid Commission
(
March 2 deadline)

  • Both this form (available at csac.ca.gov) and your FAFSA are required by March 2 to apply for Cal Grant (CA residents only)
  • Be sure to get proof of mailing from the Post Office

Talk with a PUC financial counselor

Search for scholarships

  • See what PUC offers at puc.edu/scholarships (March 2 deadline)
  • A helpful list of external scholarship websites is available at puc.edu/outsidescholarships
  • Don’t limit your search to just online; check local organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, and your chamber of commerce to see what they offer
  • Ask your PUC financial counselor for ideas of where else to look

PUC Accepting Applications for Fall 2017

Hey new seniors – this blog is for you! Our online application is now open to the Class of 2017 for Fall 2017 at puc.edu/apply – and it’s free! Once you apply, you will need to submit your transcripts (showing your freshman through your junior year) and one letter of reference. The admissions office at PUC will begin reviewing applications for acceptance mid-summer.

There are many reasons why you should start working on your application to PUC right now but I’ll spare you and only give you three. Your future self will thank you for getting this taken care of sooner rather than later! Below are just three practical reasons why you should start working on your application to PUC right now. Your future self will thank you for getting this taken care of sooner rather than later!

Personal PUC site

Get Your Personal PUC Website
As soon as you apply, you will be given your personal PUC website, which is accessible at any point to help you along the way. This site allows you to track the arrival of your transcripts, reference letter, test scores, and other documents as well as the ability to chat live with an enrollment representative (business hours only). In addition to photos and videos, you will also find helpful and fun information about what PUC can offer you, including scholarships, study abroad opportunities, academic support resources, and so much more. It’s a great place to help you start learning about PUC.

FAFSA

Be Ready for Finances in October
If you haven’t already heard, this year the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will now open October 1 instead of January 1. There are two big advantages to doing your FAFSA this early:

  1. You will be able to use your (or your parent’s) 2015 tax information, which is already done.
  2. Since you will be able to submit your FAFSA information sooner to the schools you are considering, you will have more time to explore your financial aid options at each and decide which is your best option.

The student financial services office at PUC uses your FAFSA, along with your transcripts and other information, to put together your financial aid estimate, which shows approximately how much per month it would cost for you to attend PUC. Having a completed application on file and submitting your FAFSA early on will help give you and your family the financial information you need to make decisions about college.

Start Working with Your PUC Enrollment Counselor
When you apply to PUC, you will also be assigned an enrollment counselor who will work with you throughout the admissions process. The sooner you start working with them, the better! They can help you with questions about the academic program you’re interested in, your application and what other documents you need to submit, and they will also help you register for your first quarter of classes.

So don’t wait! Apply to PUC today.