PUC Offers the College Support You Need

Starting college can be challenging, but at Pacific Union College, we have great resources in place to help students succeed. There are several invaluable resources and support services 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.

What tutoring is available at PUC?

Yes! Our Teaching & Learning Center offers free group tutoring in over 25 different subjects, ranging from business to languages to science. Most lower-division GE courses have tutoring options available. If you’re struggling with a class but don’t see a tutoring option available, talk with the helpful TLC staff and they can set you up with a small group or an individual tutor. There’s also a writing lab available to students who would like input and direction on writing papers—it’s a great service and one you should absolutely take advantage of!

Learn more about the Teaching & Learning Center.

What can I do at the library besides study and check out books?

In the age of Google, a lot of people think libraries are obsolete, but that’s definitely not the case! At PUC’s Nelson Memorial Library, books reside there of course, but also online databases, academic search engines, journal articles, and periodicals. Through the library, students have access to over 30,000 journals and 100,000 ebooks, and over four million books through interlibrary loan services. If you need to use a computer, there are also about 60 public workstations available within the library and the computer lab areas, along with large group study rooms if you need a place to study with friends for that Anatomy test. There are also very knowledgeable librarians available to help you navigate all of these resources, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Get helpful tips for using PUC’s library.

Is there someone who can help me with registering for classes?

Once you’re a student at PUC, 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 department of business (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! For undecided students, the TLC has an undeclared student advisor who will work with you on what general education classes to take while you figure out what to major in.

If I don’t know what I want to study, is there someone at PUC who can help me?

Some of you may not know what you plan to study yet, and PUC’s Career & Counseling Center can help you figure out the path you want to 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. There’s also an annual Career Fair, held every winter quarter, where you can meet with professionals from many different industries to network and learn more about the possibilities available after college. It’s a great event to provide you with a chance to see how your education at PUC can help you continue on to new and exciting places.

Meet Sydney Johnson, PUC’s career counselor.

What services are there if I get sick?

Did you know PUC has a free health clinic available to students? It’s true! Health Services provides students with a wide array of services, including appointments with a physician, physician’s assistant, or a nurse, along with medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), medical supplies, and diagnostic in-clinic testing. The Health Services clinic strives to be a welcoming professional place offering the highest quality of care possible, and wants your experience here at PUC to be a happy and healthy one! We are so thankful to have the clinic on our campus to provide our students with excellent care when they need it.

Get to know PUC’s Health Services clinic.

If you have questions about the student resources and support services available to PUC students, you can talk with one of our knowledgeable admissions counselors, who can give you more information. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now.

There’s More to Academics Than Picking a Major

Part of choosing a college involves thinking about what program you want to study. With over 70 degrees and programs offered at PUC, whatever your passion, we’ve got a program for you! (Pssst! You can learn more about all of the college’s programs at puc.edu/academics.)

There’s also a lot more to academics than deciding on your major. Here are five academic-related questions students frequently ask during PUC’s admissions process. Reach out to PUC’s team of admissions counselors if you have additional questions or need clarification on anything!

What does the typical day of a college student look like?

Every day will probably be different! Sorry, it’s a frustrating answer, but it’s the truth. Most classes at PUC meet three or four times a week, so you’ll likely have different classes on different days. Some classes are an hour, while others might be three hours (like a lab). Depending on your schedule, you might have classes all in the morning or all in the afternoon. You’ll have lots of free time, but it’s important to balance your time well. Which leads to the next question …

How much should I plan to study each week?

As a general rule of thumb, most professors say college students should expect to spend about two hours studying per week for each credit hour they take. A full load at PUC is considered to be 16 credits, which means about 16 hours of your week is spent in class, and you should try to block out about 32 hours a week to prepare for classes. Class prep includes homework, reading, and any other assignments. Don’t panic though, you probably won’t spend all that time studying, as it can fluctuate based on papers, projects, and other things. To give you a better idea of what to expect, USA Today found the average college student spends about 17 hours per week preparing for their classes.

What if I don’t know what I want to study?

Don’t worry if you haven’t picked a major yet! You’ll be fine. Research suggests as many as 80 percent of college students change their major at least once, while the average student changes their major up to three times. Understandably then, many students come to college without knowing exactly what they want to study.

The beauty of PUC being a liberal arts college is you will need to take classes in many different subjects to fulfill your General Education requirements (You can read more about those in the “What on Earth are General Education Requirements?!” blog post). This is the perfect way to try something new while learning about your strengths to see whether or not you’re interested in a subject enough to major in it. Each quarter, there are hundreds of class options available to you, including classes on such topics as business law, fencing, American government, ceramics, anatomy, Christian ethics, creative writing, computer programming, and so much more.

If you’re struggling to see where your future is headed, there are also many resources available to you at PUC. Through the Career and Counseling Center, you’ll have access to multiple personality tests, interest surveys, and our career counselor will happily give you one-on-one career counseling. We’ll help you find where God is calling you.

Learn more about PUC’s Career and Counseling Center.

What academic resources does PUC have to help me with my studies?

The Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) offers free group tutoring Sunday through Thursday for more than 25 different courses, ranging from business to languages to science. Most lower-division GE courses have tutoring options available. If you’re struggling with a class but don’t see a tutoring option available, talk with the helpful TLC staff and they can set you up with a small group or an individual tutor. There’s also a writing lab available to students who would like input and direction on writing papers—take advantage of this service!

For those with a learning disability, be sure to contact the disabilities support service coordinator in the TLC when you are on campus to learn more about the accommodations we provide.

Learn more about PUC’s Teaching and Learning Center.

How do I register for classes?

For your first quarter, you’ll work with your admissions counselor to get registered for classes. Then, once you’re a student, 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 department of business (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!

We have a team of five amazing admissions counselors ready to help you throughout the application process with any questions you have along the way, whether you have questions about admissions requirements, financial aid, or one of PUC’s academic programs. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email admissions@puc.edu to get connected with one now!

Five Commonly Asked Financial Aid Questions

As you can imagine, college finances are a hot topic for prospective students and parents. While some things are more difficult to explain than others, here are five of the most commonly asked questions and very simple answers to help get you started. Reach out to PUC’s team of financial aid counselors if you have additional questions or need clarification on anything!

How do I apply for financial aid at PUC?

The most important thing you can do is 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. 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?

If you live in California, we also strongly recommend you apply for Cal Grant. Cal Grant is a financial aid program administered by the California Student Aid Commission that provides aid to California undergraduates, vocational training students, and those in teacher certification programs. The short version: A Cal Grant is money for college you don’t have to pay back!

Cal Grants can be used at most colleges in California. If you’re planning on attending a private non-profit California college like PUC, Cal Grant is worth up to $9,084 per year. That’s over $36,000 to help pay for four years of college—and it’s free!

Don’t forget to apply for PUC scholarships as well. Visit puc.edu/scholarships to see everything we offer as well as scholarship requirements, deadlines, and their applications.

How can I get an estimate of what PUC might cost me?

Once we have your FAFSA data on file, our team of financial aid counselors can determine how much financial aid you are eligible for and create a personalized estimate 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.

While you wait for your estimate, you can also use PUC’s net price calculator to receive a free preliminary estimate of your aid eligibility, including grants, loans, and PUC scholarships.

Should I apply for aid anyway, even I think I won’t qualify for anything?

Yes, absolutely! Even if you think you won’t qualify for financial aid, or if you aren’t planning on taking out loans, it’s still recommended you file FAFSA. It might surprise you what you qualify for! Many families mistakenly think they won’t be eligible for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. There are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. You also never know when your circumstances may change, and it’s always better to have the option of more financial aid available, should you need it.

Where should I look for outside scholarships?

It’s estimated there are 1.5 million scholarships in the United States alone, so it’s time to get to work if you haven’t already started your scholarship search!

Here are several scholarship websites worth checking out: 

Are there jobs at PUC to help pay off my tuition bill?

Having a job while in college can help defray the costs of obtaining a degree, and equip you with some of the necessary skills needed to enter the workforce post-graduation. In 2017-18 approximately 500 students were working on-campus at PUC, some with multiple jobs. Learn more by reading our “How to Get a Student Job at PUC” blog post!

Our Student Finance team is here to help if you have questions about financial aid and scholarships. Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a financial aid counselor now.

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.