PUC Announces Additional Financial Aid Opportunities With Two New Scholarships

Since 1882, Pacific Union College has been charged with an important mission: providing an excellent Seventh-day Adventist education that prepares students for successful careers and service to both God and others.

We are committed to working together with you and your family to make a high-quality  Adventist college experience possible.

Did you know:

  • Last year, the college awarded over $30 million in financial aid to 1,250 students
  • The average financial aid award per student is approximately $22,483
  • 100% of students qualify for financial aid
  • Most PUC scholarships renew for four years

This year, we are thrilled to introduce two exciting new scholarships, along with updates to many existing ones. See everything PUC offers at puc.edu/scholarships.

Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Scholarship ($1,500)

In recognition of community college students who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree from a four-year institution, PUC is proud to offer the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Scholarship. It is awarded to transfer students who are graduating from a California community college with an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Requirements:

  • Obtain an ADT in an accepted program (see list)
  • Meet PUC’s admissions requirements
  • Submit official transcripts with the posted ADT degree from a California community college

Out-of-State Scholarship ($1,500-$4,000)

To reward students who choose to adventure outside of their home state, PUC presents the Out-of-State Scholarship. A student whose residential address is outside of California will receive an automatic award of $1,500. Requirements and qualifications:

  • Have residency in a state outside of California
  • For students who meet the qualifications for a Cal Grant and would receive one if they were a state resident, up to $4,000 may be awarded

Certain qualifications and restrictions may apply; contact the Student Financial Services office for more information. Award is given freshman year only.

To learn more about financial aid at PUC, visit puc.edu/scholarships. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a PUC financial aid counselor and learn about the aid opportunities available to you.

Five Tips for Finding Money to Pay for College

Does thinking about how you’re going to pay for college make you feel overwhelmed? This blog post is for you!

When looking at potential colleges, seeing the overall cost probably makes you want to give up. It’s completely understandable, but keep in mind nobody pays that sticker price. This is where grants, scholarships, and loans come in.

Scholarships can substantially lower the price families pay for a college education, and the great part about them is it’s money you don’t have to pay back. PUC offers many scholarships that can help, but the reality is we can’t always provide as much financial aid as some students and families might need. Don’t worry, though! It’s estimated there is close to $50 billion in grants and scholarship money available in just the United States alone, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to start your scholarship search.

Start Looking Online

A lot of students worry they won’t receive any scholarships if they don’t have a 4.0 GPA. This simply isn’t true! Scholarships aren’t just for students with a high GPA. There are non-academic scholarships available based on your major of interest, leadership involvement, extracurricular activities, community service, and more. There are even some fun scholarships, such as the Create-a-Greeting Card scholarship (worth $10,000), for which applicants submit a design for a greeting card; the Vegetarian Resource Group scholarship (worth $10,000), for which applicants need to have demonstrated “compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet/lifestyle”; and the Tall Clubs International, Inc. scholarship (worth $1,000), which is available to male applicants at least 6’2” and female applicants at least  5’10” and who write an essay on the subject of “What Being Tall Means to Me.” Perhaps the most famous college scholarship is the Stuck at Prom scholarship (worth $10,000), for which students compete by making outfits entirely out of Duck brand duct tape to wear to prom.

These sites are a great starting point for your college scholarship search:

  • Fastweb: Fastweb is considered to be the premier scholarship website with over 1.5 million scholarships worth over $3 billion.
  • Niche: This website lists over 3.2 million scholarships and also allows you to create a profile to be personally matched to scholarships you may be eligible for.
  • Unigo: This website lists over 3.6 million scholarships.

Also, check out our extensive list of scholarship sites at puc.edu/outsidescholarships.

Think Locally Too

Take a look around your community for scholarship opportunitiesyou might be surprised at what you find in your area. Your local Rotary Club or 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 there’s far less competition for them than there are for state or national scholarshipsyou have a greater chance at receiving them! Remember to check with your church too.

Write One Good Essay

Obviously, you’re going to need to write more than just one essay when applying for scholarships, but you can probably use certain parts of an essay more than once. Have the basicsyour career goals, personal statement, and academic career thus farperfected, 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.

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 are also countless distractions that can quickly take you down a 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. The time you put in could make all the difference in receiving thousands of dollars!

Don’t Forget About the FAFSA

One of the most important things you can do is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is a form you will submit each year that determines your eligibility for student financial aid. Starting October 1, 2018, you can submit your FAFSA and have your information sent to the 10 colleges you’re interested in. Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible since some aid is awarded on a first-come, first served basis. To have your FAFSA sent to PUC, make sure you include PUC’s school codeit’s 001258.

Filling out the FAFSA also potentially qualifies you for a Pell Grant, which is a subsidy from the U.S. federal government, and is something you don’t have to pay back. Amounts can change each year, but for the 2018-2019 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,095.

According to a study by NerdWallet, in 2014 U.S. high school graduates left a whopping $2.9 billion in free federal grant money on the table just by not completing the FAFSA, which made them ineligible for a Pell Grant. In our great state of California, over 100,000 seniors could have potentially qualified for Pell Grants if they had filed their FAFSA, but as a result, they lost $396,401,205. Are you seeing how critical it can be for you to take the time to fill out the FAFSA yet?

There’s a lot to keep track of when applying for scholarships and other financial aid. At PUC, we have a team of financial aid counselors ready to help if you have questions about scholarships and how to make college affordable for your family. Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor today.

Why You Should Take the ACT or SAT, Maybe Even Twice

Registering to take and then studying for the ACT or SAT can seem very daunting. However, taking one or both of these is a very important step on your way to college. Many colleges have score requirements for admission and while PUC doesn’t require a specific score for acceptance, there are some big reasons to take them and score well!

Note: PUC accepts both the ACT and the SAT. To have your test scores sent to PUC, make sure you include PUC’s school code; 0362 for ACT and 4600 for SAT.

You need them to register for classes

A little different than most state and public schools, PUC doesn’t require test scores for admission for first-time college students, with a few exceptions. However, you still need to submit test scores for placement into Math and English classes, so it is something you will have to turn in eventually when you register for classes in the spring.

For transfer students, test scores are only required for students who have not successfully taken the equivalent to College Algebra or English 101.

Learn more about PUC’s admissions requirements.

You could earn a scholarship

PUC uses test scores for several scholarships for incoming freshmen, including the Maxwell scholarship, the college’s most prestigious scholarship; and the President’s, Dean’s, Trustee’s, and Founder’s scholarships. Each of these scholarships requires a certain GPA and a certain test score range and is potentially worth a great deal of money, from $36,000 all the way up to $112,000. It’s definitely a wise decision to make sure you take time to adequately prepare for the ACT or SAT since the better you score, the higher the scholarship you’re eligible for.

Learn more about PUC’s scholarships.

Retaking it could result in a higher scholarship

With the fall just getting started, there’s still plenty of time to take either test or retake one if you aren’t satisfied with your score. Taking a standardized test twice might not sound like the most fun since it’s several hours of your time, but it can be worth it since there’s serious scholarship money available for students who do well on these tests. It can be the difference between earning thousands of dollars more if you can significantly increase your score. If you took the ACT but didn’t do well, it may even be worth trying the SAT to see if that results in a higher score.

Learn more about the ACTs, including registration deadlines and fees.

Learn more about the SATs, including registration deadlines and fees.

Our team of admissions counselors is ready to help if you have questions about applying to PUC! Call our office at (800) 862-7080, option 2 Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get connected with a counselor. You can also email admissions@puc.edu.

Using PUC’s Net Price Calculator

Worried about affording college? PUC’s net price calculator is a quick way to find out how much aid you may qualify for!

Did you know 100 percent of PUC’s traditional undergraduate students receive financial aid? Last year, over $30 million was awarded to our 1,250 students based not only on merit (which means grades + test scores), but leadership, Christian service, and much more. You can see a full list of PUC scholarships at puc.edu/scholarships.

PUC is committed to making a high-quality Christ-centered education possible. We know it can be both overwhelming and frustrating to try to figure out how much it could cost for you to attend a college, which is why we have a net price calculator that can help give you an approximate idea of what PUC costs. Using the calculator will also give you a preliminary estimate of your aid eligibility, including grants, loans, and PUC scholarships.

You will be asked basic information, such as when you intend to start at PUC, if your parents work for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, whether you have a sibling that will be attending PUC at the same time, if you will be studying a specific major that offers a scholarship, and if you’ve held a leadership position during your junior or senior year, among other similar questions. It’s helpful if you know your current GPA, and if you’ve taken either the ACT or SAT, make sure you have those scores on hand too.

For your estimate to be as accurate as possible, it’s also a good idea to work with your parents to have your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) already completed so you can input that information as well. The FAFSA is a form you will fill out each year that determines your eligibility for student financial aid. Starting October 1, 2018, you can submit your FAFSA and have your information sent to the 10 colleges you’re interested in. To have your FAFSA sent to PUC, make sure you include PUC’s school codeit’s 001258.

Once you’ve completed the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which will show your potential eligibility for different types of financial aid as well as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. (Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. Learn more at studentaid.ed.gov.)

If you have the necessary information on hand, it takes less than 10 minutes—start using PUC’s net price calculator now!

Remember, these results are just the starting point and might not show all the aid you may qualify for, which is why we always recommend talking with a PUC financial counselor to carefully go over them. Email studentfinance@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 1 to get in touch with a counselor now.  

Take Just One Hour and File Your FAFSA

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for college is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is an online form you will submit each year that determines your eligibility for student financial aid. This year, for the first time, you can also complete it on your phone. The U.S. Department of Education has created a mobile-friendly version on its website or it can be filled out using its new myStudentAid app.

Starting today, October 1, 2018, you can file your FAFSA and have your information sent to up to 10 colleges you’re considering. Make sure to file FAFSA as soon as possible since some aid is awarded on a first-come, first served basis. To have your FAFSA information sent to PUC, include PUC’s school codeit’s 001258.

According to the FAQs on the FAFSA website, it takes most people less than an hour to complete a FAFSA for the first time, which includes taking time to gather the necessary documents, completing and reviewing the application, and reading the important information on the “Confirmation” page you’ll receive after signing and submitting the FAFSA. Nothing should stop you from taking one hour to do this incredibly important step in the college financial aid process!

Filing the FAFSA also potentially qualifies you for a Pell Grant, which is a subsidy from the U.S. federal government, and is something you don’t have to pay back. Amounts can change each year, but for the 2018-2019 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,095.

According to a study by NerdWallet, in 2014 U.S. high school graduates left a whopping $2.9 billion in free federal grant money on the table just by not completing the FAFSA, which made them ineligible for a Pell Grant. In our great state of California, over 100,000 seniors would have qualified for Pell Grants if they had filed their FAFSA, but as a result, they lost $396,401,205. See how critical it can be for you to take the time to do the FAFSA?

Based on your FAFSA information, our team of financial counselors can determine how much financial aid you are eligible for and create a personalized financial aid estimate for you where you can see how much per month it would cost to attend PUC. It’s incredibly helpful and absolutely an essential thing for you to have when making a decision about where to attend college.

Well, what are you waiting for? Start your FAFSA now at fafsa.gov!

Five Apps to Help You Survive & Thrive in College

There are a lot of things you have to keep track of in college. Your nightly reading list. Due dates for big papers. Group projects. Remembering to call your family. It can quickly become overwhelming, and that’s not even taking into consideration fun things like intramural games, study groups, and date nights. The good news? There are a lot of really helpful apps that can help you stay on top of everything going on in your life. Here are just five suggestions for ones to check out before school starts next month!

Google Drive

If you aren’t already using Google Drive, you’re missing out! Files saved in Drive can be accessed from your phone, tablet, or computer; whether the files are from Google Suite programs like Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides, or photos, videos, and PDFs. You can also share your documents with other people, which can come in handy if there’s a group project you need to collaborate on for one of your classes. Also helpful? Since you can log in and access your files just about anywhere, if you forget to upload your homework to Canvas or need to print it, you can always run to the PUC library and print your file in an emergency!

Google Keep

Yes, another recommended Google app! One of the lesser-known Google Suite programs, Google Keep is essential for keeping yourself organized. You can create to-do lists, notes, and set important reminders all within the app, and for those of you who love to be extra organized, you can color code and categorize things to your heart’s content too. It’s a Type A person’s dream! One super cool feature is you can share your notes and lists with other people, meaning you can share things like a grocery list with your roommate, notes with a classmate, etc.

Genius Scan

Genius Scan is a scanner in your pocket. It allows you to quickly scan and email yourself JPEG or PDF documents. You can even create multi-page PDF documents, which can come in handy more often than you might think!

Want to give the app a try? After you’ve finished completing your health forms, why not scan and email them to Health Services. Visit puc.edu/alreadyaccepted for more information!

Mint

Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees in the PUC forest, so it’s a good idea to use Mint for managing your finances. With this app, you can create a budget you can stick to and watch your spending habits. You can also keep an eye on upcoming bills and make sure they’re paid on time. For college students with limited income, Mint can help ease your fears about your money.

The official PUC app

Of course, we had to promote our own app! There are many reasons why you should download the PUC app, but probably the most important one is you can check out the cafe menu to see what’s for lunch.

Check out our “Five Reasons You Need the PUC Mobile App” blog post to learn more!

Eventually, you will 3find the right apps that work for you so don’t be afraid to try new things! The more organized you are, the less stressed you will feel, and hopefully both of those things will result in helping you be more successful.

10 Tips for Your First Quarter at PUC

Help make sure this is you graduating in four years! (And yes, those are tortillas!)

If you’re getting ready for your first quarter at PUC, here are 10 suggestions to help make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible.

Don’t stay in your dorm room

Try your best not to be a hermit and spend all your time in your dorm room. It can be intimidating to go to Student Association events or a Pioneers Athletics game, or just hang out in the Campus Center, but try to get out of your comfort zone a few times and put yourself in places where you might make new friends.

Find your ideal place to study

Research shows studying in different locations can help with your retention of what you’ve studied, so it’s a good idea to find several places you feel you can focus.

Need some ideas of where you can go? Check out our “Great Places to Study on PUC’s Campus” blog post!

Meet with your professors

Make a point of stopping by to visit with your professors during their office hours. Don’t feel as though you’re imposing on them—they’re literally required to have them! Talking with your professors regularly can help them get to know you too, which will also be helpful in a few years when you need a recommendation from them!

Take advantage of on-campus resources

There are some awesome resources available to students at PUC. The Teaching & Learning Center offers free tutoring for most General Education classes and also has a writing lab. The Counseling Center provides students with career counseling, personal counseling, and testing services. Our gymnasium, known officially as Pacific Auditorium but more endearingly called “The Covered Wagon,” also houses a fitness center, weight room, and pool, all of which are free for students to use.

Learn more by reading our “Five Departments Every Student Should Know” blog post!

Talk to people in your classes

It can be scary to walk into a classroom full of people you don’t know, so make an effort to talk to students seated near you. This can have two benefits: you can potentially make more friends, and you can have a buddy to rely on in case one of you misses class and share notes with.

Find ways to get involved

This isn’t to say you should force yourself to do something you aren’t truly interested in, but find your own way of getting involved on-campus. Participate in your weekly dorm worship. Join a small Bible study group. Start a praise band. Think about running for Student Association office or for Student Senate. Join one of the 25 student clubs!

Interested in joining a student club? Learn more by reading our “So Many Clubs, So Little Time!” blog post!

Balance your life

While it’s obviously very important, there’s more to college life than school and homework. A lot of being successful in college is learning how to manage your time and finding the right balance between studying, your social life, and activities to help you relax and destress.

Which leads to the next point …

Develop a routine

Try to develop a routine that works for you, and then do your best to stick to it. Start your morning by studying your Bible or reading a quick worship thought. If you have a break between classes, go for a walk at the track (and bring flashcards if you still need to cram for a quiz!). Make a deal with your friends to have dinner together at the Dining Commons every evening, or at least once a week.

Plan your class schedule wisely

Keep your past history in mind when planning your class schedule with your enrollment counselor. If you’re not a morning person, avoid 8 a.m. classes, if possible. If you struggle with staying focused for long periods of time, maybe don’t sign up for those four credit classes that meet twice a week for two hours! Being aware of what works for you and planning accordingly can only help set you up for future success.

Editor’s note: If you still need to register for classes, or have questions about your schedule, get in touch with your enrollment counselor! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor.

Try something new

Lastly, don’t be afraid to try something new. Take an art class. Take a language class. Play an intramurals sport you’ve never played before. By stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to grow and perhaps discover something new that you enjoy.

Your first quarter of college is going to be full of new people and new experiences, but try not to worry or feel overwhelmed as New Student Orientation approaches. You will find your place here at PUC, and develop your own network of friends and support. Get ready for your best year yet!