10 Ways to Make New Friends Your First Quarter at PUC

Whether you’re coming to PUC with a large group of friends or taking the plunge and going solo, it can seem intimidating when you’re on a new campus and don’t know many faces. Fear not though; there are plenty of different ways you can make new friends during your first few quarters.

Read on for 10 suggestions to get you out of your dorm room and into the mix!

Go to a Pioneers Athletics game. Hanging out in the Covered Wagon and cheering on your Pioneers is a great way to get involved with the Pioneers Posse, and meet some new friends too!

Join an intramurals team. Close to 50% of students at PUC participate in intramurals, and there are over 10 sports to play each year, so sign up to play! Or, you can start your own team. See if there’s anyone from your floor or class who wants to play.

Hang out at your department’s pre-vespers. Most departments have pre-vespers at least once a quarter. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know not only other students who share the same major, but your professors as well. Bonus: good food!

Go to your hall worship. Most floors in each residence hall have a simple weekly worship service where you can decompress with your fellow hallmates and spend time together in praise and worship.

Join a student-run club. There are over 20 different student-run clubs on campus, ranging from the Biology Club to the Literature Evangelism Club to the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL) Club. Joining one of these clubs can help you get to know other students outside of your dorm and major, and fill up your social calendar with fun club-related events and trips.

Join a tutoring group at the TLC. Whether you’re struggling in a class or just want to reinforce some core concepts, being part of a study group can help you succeed academically. It can also be a great way to meet other students too!

Go to the weekly SA event. Each week, the Student Association puts on a fun activity for students; sometimes on-campus, sometimes off. It could be a game night in the Campus Center, or a trip to the movies in Napa. Venture out and have fun!

Get involved with service and missions. There are plenty of ways you can give back, and make a friend or two in the process. You could help with Homeless Ministries, which visits local areas in need to pass out sack lunches and care packages every Sabbath, or go on one of the quarterly mission trips to places like Fiji, Brazil, or Kenya.

Check out the opening reception for a Rasmussen Art Gallery show. Several times a quarter, a new exhibit opens at the college’s on-campus art gallery, which often features students, faculty, and other local artists. The opening reception is a chance to meet the artists, mingle with other guests, and enjoy some tasty snacks while appreciating the talent on display.

Get a job on-campus. One of the advantages of getting a student job at PUC is being able to put your earnings towards your school bill. Another advantage is it introduces you to people you might not otherwise get to meet!

Don’t be afraid of getting outside your comfort zone and trying something new once you’re in college; you might surprise yourself and learn something new, and make a few new friends as well!

 

Five Tips for Using PUC’s Library

By Allison Fox, access services librarian

I’ve spent most of my life in libraries. My mom was the librarian at my elementary school, and summers were divided between the swimming pool and the library. As a result of these experiences, libraries have always seemed like a second home to me, which is probably what led to my becoming a librarian! You don’t have to become a librarian, but I hope you will love the library as much as I do! Or at least a little bit. Being comfortable in and with the library will contribute greatly to your academic, and (dare I say), social, success. To that end, here are five tips for using the library.

1. Make yourself at home
As I’ve just implied, a library should feel like a second home. The library has a variety of different sorts of spaces so figure out which one works best for the goal you’re attempting to reach. If you need to work in a group and engage in “lively” discussion, the main floor has an open study space and a couple of rooms to reserve. If you’re seeking quiet and solitude, the top and basement levels have many study carrels where you can focus on your work. There’s also a group viewing room on the bottom level where you can watch VHS tapes on a vintage TV (or DVDs, or streaming TV through a projector), or just gather as a group. There are multiple spaces for different kinds of work and you should keep all these options in mind when planning your schedule.

However, while we librarians want you to feel comfortable here, we also want you to pick up after yourself as you (hopefully) do at home. You are allowed to eat in the library, so please do us the courtesy of throwing away any bottles or food containers. Don’t be the person who finds out what an angry librarian looks like. 🙃

2. Make use of resources
I’ve already talked about the spaces the library offers, but wait, there’s more! Printing in the library is free. We have color as well as black and white printers, available for all your academic needs. There are also laptops to check out if you don’t own one, or if yours has recently experienced any sort of meltdown, or if you just need to use the lockdown browser to take a quiz. If you’re having trouble finding an article or book (or refining a topic, or finding one at all!) there is a librarian specifically on call to help from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., every day during the week, and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. We offer books on every possible topic, so if you’d like to take up knitting or cook an elaborate mid-century meal, we have a book for that, although unfortunately, we can’t provide you the spare time required for such undertakings.

3. Ask questions
One of the most important things you will learn about using the library is that no question is too small or large. If at any point during your research you find yourself lost, please find a librarian to talk to! There is no reason for you to struggle through the process by yourself, and we librarians are both able and willing. We librarians are a voraciously intellectually curious lot, so it’s fun for us to help you solve your dilemmas, be they tracking down a specific article, beginning an exploratory search of a broad topic, or refining a research inquiry. We’re also happy to tell you where the bathrooms are (we have them on each floor!) or help you find a book on the shelf. We welcome all (primarily academic) questions, from the straightforward and simple to the difficult and complex.

4. Be patient
While we are always happy to help you and answer questions, it is important to remember that research can be a long process which will require persistence and patience. It will always require a certain amount of reading and sifting through things, and it’s a process that will demand increasing amounts of your attention. As librarians, we want to make the process of finding these things as painless as possible, and give you methods that will continue to improve what and how much you find. It’s always going to take a certain amount of time, and the further you get into your discipline the more complex your research will be, so it’s important to accept the necessity of giving it your full attention.

Additionally, we librarians are very busy. We all have responsibilities like teaching classes, choosing books and other resources for the library, and a variety of other things like cataloging materials, processing archival collections, maintaining systems, and information literacy assessment. Therefore, if we are not immediately available to help you, please bear with us. We will cheerfully help you once we’re back from teaching or off the phone or finished with helping another student.

5. Get to know the librarians
I keep talking about the librarians so it may seem repetitive to advise getting to know us. However, I stand by it! If you know us you will feel comfortable asking questions, and your Academic struggles will be lessened greatly. We are also completely awesome! Patrick Benner is the library director, and he is the guru of all things technological. He also knows an awful lot about computer history and science fiction. Jason St. Clair is our cataloger, which means he makes sure all materials are in the library catalog so they can be found on the shelves. He is a musician and also reads a lot of sci-fi. Katy Van Arsdale is the special collections librarian and archivist, which means she maintains PUC’s history and deals with SDA scholarship. She wears fabulous nail polish and knows a lot about movies. And I’m Allison Fox, access services librarian—I deal with circulation and do a lot of instruction. I’m obsessed with sentence structure and argument construction, and pop culture.

I hope this gives you some insight into using the PUC library! And of course, all you have to do to find out more is come in and ask.

A Conversation with Freddy Whiteside, Director of Student Financial Services

Freddy Whiteside has been serving Pacific Union College students in the office of student financial services for eight years, and in February of this year, he stepped into his new role as director. “The best part of what I do,” he says, “is interacting with the students and finding additional financial aid options for them whenever I can.”

One of the most common questions Freddy hears from students and their families is, “Can I afford a private school?” This is, obviously, a growing concern in the U.S., and Freddy’s job is to ensure the answer to that question in reference to PUC is a resounding, “Yes!”

What is one piece of financial aid advice you would give all high school students?

Treat your GPA like it’s money because it is.

What do you think is the most underutilized financial aid resource?

Without question, it’s contacting businesses directly about private scholarships. Most people don’t realize this is an option, but it absolutely is!

What’s something about financial aid at PUC people might be surprised to learn?

Every single student who attends PUC qualifies for financial aidthis means 100 percent of the student body qualifies for financial aid!

What are some of the most important deadlines when it comes to applying for student scholarships or financial aid?

March 2 is the Cal Grant deadline. You must have your FAFSA and the GPA verification form done by this date.

How can I work out a payment plan?

PUC has a nine-month payment plan and it runs from September to May. We also have a twelve-month payment plan which starts in June, before school starts, and goes through to May. Arrangements for these plans can be made with our office.

Is the investment in college is worth it?

Take a moment to consider this: The difference between a high school diploma and a college degree is now $1.5 million in earning potential.

What kind of campus or local jobs are available for me to make money to help with tuition?

PUC currently employs hundreds of students in various departments across campus. In these roles, students have the opportunity to earn money that can go directly to their student account. Additionally, there are various jobs available in the surrounding valley that are a perfect fit for college student schedules, if an off-campus job is preferred. The student employment office can answer questions about these options. (Editor’s note: Visit the Student Employment page on our website or email stuemployment@puc.edu for more information)

How do I apply for financial aid?

Students can apply for financial aid by visiting fafsa.gov in addition to visiting puc.edu/scholarships, where they can find all the forms they’ll need to apply directly to PUC for aid. I would also encourage students to contact their local church and conference regarding scholarships.

How much access to my financial records do my parents have?

Parents have no access to their student’s financial records without consent. Students are required to fill out a consent form which allows other individuals (such as parents or grandparents) to view their financial aid.

What if I want to study abroad while I’m here? How does that affect my financial aid status?

If a student decides they want to study abroad, they would still qualify for financial aid. It does not affect their aid status at all, so long as they follow the outlined steps to communicate with the appropriate departments about their plans.

What happens if my financial situation changes mid-year?

If this happens, we have the ability to revise a student’s FAFSA based on their current financial situation. They could potentially qualify for additional financial aid, based on the circumstances.

Does PUC offer renewable scholarships?

Yes, PUC has many four-year guaranteed scholarships. Please check out the website at puc.edu/scholarships for a list of available renewable scholarships.

What is the #1 website you would recommend to parents who might be overwhelmed by the financial aid process or are going through it for the first time?

I actually have three websites I like to recommend: #1 studentloans.gov: This is a government website that focuses on student loan debt, however, they have a lot of great resources about paying for college. #2 finaid.org: They cover everything from student loans, scholarships, grants and more. They also have advice on ways to save for college. #3 fastweb.com: This is a website for scholarships, internships, and career advice.

To connect with Freddy and his team of financial counselors to discuss your financial situation, email studentfinance@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 1.

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!