Choosing a Major in College

By Janae Bowman

Picking a college major can be a bit stressful. As an enrollment counselor, the number one question I get asked is, “Am I stuck with this major?” Don’t worry! Picking a major doesn’t lock you into an exact career for the rest of your life, but it does mean you will spend a lot of time with the subject you choose. So here are a few of my tips before you make a decision.

What is a major?

First off, what is a major? A major is a bundle of classes put together by a college in order to receive a degree. This bundle of classes will typically have a subject of your choice paired with some general education requirements.

Is picking a major important?

It can be important to pick a major sooner rather than later if you are interested in earning a professional degree after college. Some professional programs, like medical school, can have a list of prerequisites or certain courses you must complete before you even apply. (If you’re interested, take a look at the curriculum guidesheets for each major to see what classes are required and if there are any prerequisites for continuing on to a professional program.)

When to declare a major?

Most people think you must have your major picked out before starting school. When you are filling out college applications, most ask what your expected major is. It is okay if you don’t know what major you want to pick before you start. According to the U.S Department of Education, about one in ten students change majors more than once. During your first year of college, take time and figure out the field you want to be in. Usually, by your sophomore year in college, you will want to officially declare a major.

Most important tips for picking a major:

  1. Pick something you are interested in. You will be spending a lot of time in that field. So if you dislike what you are studying, you will be miserable and won’t be very motivated to finish.
  2. Evaluate your skills. What are you good at? It’s probably not the best idea to major in something you know you are weak in. If you’ve barely passed science classes during high school, majoring in a science is probably not the best decision. Go into a major being confident you will do well with most of the topics.
  3. Consider growth industries and do your research. Think about the skills you will have and how much those skills will be in demand by the time you are in the field.
  4. Look at what types of income you can receive from different jobs in your field. It’s hard to predict exactly what you will earn but it can give you a realistic idea of what your future may look like.
  5. Talk to people who are in the fields you are interested in. Ask them how they got there and tips they might have for students going into the field. It may open your mind and help you in making that major decision. They may even be open to you allowing you to shadow them and get a real glimpse into what the field is like.

Overall, don’t worry if you have no idea what to do when it comes to picking a major. You will be able to evaluate your interest in college, it just may take some time. Sometimes if you don’t pick a major, a major will pick you!

If you’re in need of some ideas for what your options are when it comes to deciding what to study at PUC, don’t hesitate to contact our team of enrollment counselors. They can talk with you about what’s available at PUC and what sounds like could be a good fit for you. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now.

Get Ready for Fall 2018!

The fall is prime college application time for high school seniors. These days, the average student applies to at least nine colleges, and if you haven’t already started looking at potential schools for next fall, now’s the time–and why not start with PUC! Our online application is free and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

We’ve created a handy high school senior checklist to help you stay on track all year long. On it, you will find a breakdown of what you can be working on each month. Hopefully it will help you get things taken care of!

So, what else can you be working on? Plenty! Here’s just a few things to get you started; download the checklist for a complete inventory on what you need to do to be ready for college next fall.

Visit all the colleges you can

There’s no better way to see if a college is right for you than by visiting! We would love for you to join us on our campus. Take a tour with a student ambassador, meet with a professor in the major of your interest, and pick up some great financial tips.

Take the ACT and SAT—and leave yourself time to retake them

PUC accepts both the ACT and SAT. While they aren’t required for admission (except for admission on academic probation), tour test scores will be used for placement into math and English classes, and also for certain scholarship qualifications.

It’s a good idea to take the test several times, rather than just once, particularly if your score is close to the qualifications for a scholarship. 

Get ready to submit the FAFSA in October

Starting October 1, 2017, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible since some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Remember to include PUC’s school code (001258) to have your results sent to PUC, as well as to list at least one in-state college, otherwise you may be ineligible to apply for Cal Grant.

Visit puc.edu/enrollmentforms to download your copy of PUC’s high school senior checklist today!

If you have any questions about applying to PUC, contact the Enrollment Services office at enroll@puc.edu or (800) 862-7080, option 2. We’re here to help throughout the entire admission process, and we can’t wait to have you on campus next fall!

What is PUC College Days and Why Should You Go?

By Leanna Arredondo

Trying to choose a college can be fun, but also extremely stressful. The truth of the matter is, the memories from college are ones you will remember forever, so making a conscious decision for where you attend is crucial. College Days at PUC makes this not only easier, but a whole lot more exciting. As a recent graduate, and now a PUC enrollment counselor, I am excited to share more about this experience with you!

What Should You Expect?

PUC is located just minutes from one of the most well-known destination spots in the country, Napa Valley. Surrounded by picturesque views, our “campus on the hill” is where it all takes place. Whether you are traveling by plane, car, bus, or train (who knows), PUC does their best to accommodate you. Upon arriving, you will make your way to Winning Hall, our main residence hall, where you will check in with our enrollment team and receive your rooming assignment and schedule for your stay.

Depending on the dates of your specific College Days experience, the activities will differ. However, this April, you will take a tour of the campus, eat dinner with current PUC students, play some fun games, and end the night with an ice cream social! Think you’re finished? Not quite! You can also look forward to attending a couple classes of your choice, a financial aid workshop, spending time in our storybook town of St. Helena, and touring the beautiful city of San Francisco!

What Should You Bring?

If you are anything like me, you feel the need to pack your entire life into a suitcase for whatever trip you’re embarking on. However, lucky for you, I am going to give you a list of essentials:

  • A sleeping bag, travel mattress pad, pillow, and towel.
  • A comfortable pair of shoes is KEY for this trip. We do live on a mountain, so tennies or flats would work perfectly. This is especially important for those of you checking out our hiking trails!
  • Personal toiletries are important; however, we do have the College Market where you can purchase items from, as well.
  • Extra cash isn’t a requirement, but who doesn’t want some chocolate directly from the Ghirardelli Factory in San Francisco? Let’s be honest.
  • Athletic gear for our open gym is optional.

Why Is This Important?

Before attending PUC, I remember how stressed out I was about choosing a college that would not only offer great academics, but a spiritual and welcoming atmosphere, as well. When I found PUC, I was nervous about a few things. I wasn’t Adventist, I really loved the city, and I had never lived so far from my parents. This is why visiting is so crucial. During my visit to PUC, I was able to talk to my enrollment counselor, get my financial aid questions answered, talk with an advisor for my major, meet several current students, worship with the community, visit some of the surrounding cities, and get a feel of what the campus was all about. College Days will change everything folks. Don’t second guess an opportunity to experience what could potentially be your home away from home.

Where Can You Get More Information?

Ready to visit? All you need to do is go to our Visit page on the Admissions website, scroll down to the College Days section, and click on the “Sign Up for April 2017” button. Here, you’ll be able to choose what classes fit your interest, and if you know any of our current PUC students, request to dorm with them during your stay. It is as easy as that! I look forward to meeting you!

Your last chance for a College Days experience this year is coming up April 9-11. Don’t miss out!

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.

Reserve Your Spot in a Residence Hall & Register for Classes

Dorm 1

One of the best things about attending Pacific Union College is living in one of our seven residence halls; there are four for women, and three for men. About 72 percent of students live on campus, which fosters a close-knit community atmosphere. Students live together, study together, socialize and worship together, giving our campus a unique sense of unity. College is a special time where you have your closest friends living around you. Browse through a photo gallery to see what residential life is like at PUC and picture yourself here.

Last month, class registration for Fall 2016 started, and if you’re an accepted student, you can register for classes after paying your enrollment fee. This lets us know you’re committed to attending PUC and it reserves your spot in classes, once you register for them. It also reserves your room in the residence halls, provided you have completed your housing form

Once this fee is paid, you’re eligible to register for classes. For new freshmen, you can begin talking with your PUC enrollment counselor to plan your perfect class schedule—maybe without an 8 a.m. class! Your counselor will do their best to get you the classes you want, but keep in mind some things just might not be possible.

Transfer students, you will work with your advisor for what you should register for, based upon the degree audit completed by the Records office. Don’t hesitate to ask your advisor for their input if you aren’t 100 percent sure about what to register for. You can also contact Igdaly Patel, our transfer student counselor, for assistance as well. She can be reached at igdaly@puc.edu or at (707) 965-6422.

If you have any questions about registration, or the status of your application, contact the Enrollment Services office at at enroll@puc.edu or (800) 862-7080, option 2. We’re here to help throughout the entire admission process, and we can’t wait to have you on campus this fall!

Dorm 2

You’re Accepted to PUC – Now What?

Holiday 2

Christmas break is the perfect time to work on your college applications and everything you need to do to be ready for college next year. If you’re an accepted student to PUC, you can look at your personal site for a checklist to keep you on track. The checklist is located on the right-hand side of the home screen. For parents or students still working on their PUC application, you can use our helpful High School Senior Checklist

For accepted students, here are the four most important things you can do for PUC right now:

  1. Pay your enrollment fee & fill out a housing form. All students will need to pay a $200 enrollment fee before registering for classes, as well as submit a housing form. You can do both at puc.edu/reserve. Paying the fee before May 1 means $100 of it will be put towards your Fall 2016 tuition bill!
  2. Apply for PUC scholarships. Our scholarship deadline isn’t until March 2, so there’s plenty of time to write those essays! See a list of what we offer incoming freshmen at puc.edu/scholarships.
  3. Fill out a PUC Financial Aid Application. All students are required to submit a PUC Financial Aid Application, which can be found at puc.edu/reserve. This information, along with your FAFSA, is used by the Student Finance office to put together a financial estimate where you can see how much per month it would cost you to attend PUC. It’s very helpful! If you have any finance-related questions, the Student Finance office can be reached at studentfinance@puc.edu or at 800.862.7080 option 1.
  4. Register for classes. Registration for Fall 2016 doesn’t start until April, but if you let your Enrollment Counselor know what you’re planning on studying, they can put together a sample class schedule for you so you can see what classes you might end up taking next fall.

If you have any questions while working on these items, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Enrollment office at enroll@puc.edu or through our 800 number at 800.862.7080 option 2. Our six Enrollment Counselors happy to help!

We hope you have a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year!

Holiday 3

Your Future at PUC Can Start Today

Back to the Future

The fall is prime college application time for high school seniors. The average student applies to nine colleges, and if you haven’t already started looking at potential schools for next fall, now’s the time – and why not start with Pacific Union College! Our online application is free and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Here are three reasons why you should consider applying to PUC now.

1. Our application process is simple.

We try not to make things too complicated for you. If you will be attending college for the first time, all it takes to complete your application is sending in your transcripts and one reference. Visit our Admissions website for more details about our admissions process, including information for transfer and international students.

2. Don’t miss out on scholarships!

In order to apply for several of PUC’s scholarships, you need to be an accepted student for the upcoming fall quarter. Our scholarship deadline is March 2nd, and we don’t want you to miss out on free money. Make sure you’re accepted by then so you can apply.

3. Be at the top of the list for classes and your dorm assignment.

Once you’re an accepted student, there are several important steps you need to take to complete the process of becoming a PUC student, but you can start with paying your $200 enrollment fee. There are several benefits to paying this fee as early as possible, including:

  • Early-bird class selection: Class registration for Fall 2016 starts April 4, but you won’t be able to register for classes with your Enrollment Counselor until the fee is paid.
  • Priority housing: Paying your fee puts you in line to receive your dorm room assignment. The sooner you pay your fee, the higher up on the list you’ll be! (If you haven’t yet, fill out your housing reservation form.)
  • Pay your fee before May 1 and we will put $100 of it towards your Fall 2016 tuition bill.

There’s never been a better time to apply to PUC – start today!