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.

Five Reasons to Come to PUC’s College Days

If you’ve never heard of College Days, it’s PUC’s special visitation event, held three times a year, and is two and a half action-packed days where you can experience what life at the college is like. It’s a great way to see if PUC is the right fit for you.

The next College Days event is scheduled for February 10-12, 2019, and we would love to have you here for it! Come experience everything PUC has to offer as you decide where to attend college. Sign up now!

Here are just five reasons why you should consider coming to College Days next month!

You will get to know more about PUC’s prime location

One of the best things about PUC is our location. Not only is it a beautiful place to live with many opportunities to get out in nature, but the campus is also blessed with a close proximity to incredible places like Napa, San Francisco, Mendocino, Tahoe, and lots more. You can visit a museum in the city or spend time on the coast. Your options are limitless.

During College Days you’ll get to experience both Napa and San Francisco in person! So be sure to have your camera handy to capture some really Instagram-worthy sights. We’ll take you downtown Napa for an afternoon and you’ll also get to spend time at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

You will gather insight into academic programs

During College Days students will discover more about college academics. Between dinner with faculty, sitting in on real college classes, and experiences showcasing many of PUC’s departments, hopefully, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of what program you want to join!

You get to attend a special financial aid workshop

Monday morning offers College Days participants a financial aid workshop allowing you to learn all about how to pay for college. From PUC specific scholarships to information on FAFSA, you’ll be able to speak with a knowledgeable financial aid counselor to learn how an Adventist education is possible at PUC.

You can hear about PUC directly from PUC students

While you’re visiting PUC for College Days, you’ll constantly be interacting with current students, which is the perfect way to really understand the heart and soul of the Pioneers community. You will stay in their rooms, join them for meals in the cafe, sit in on their classes, worship with them, and attend a panel where you can ask them any question you might have.

You will immerse yourself into college life

Come be a Pioneer, if only for a few days! One of the best things about visiting PUC for College Days is being on campus for several days and really getting to experience what it’s like to be a student here. As you walk around campus, try picturing yourself as a PUC student. Envision how great it will be to make this place your home for your college years. Make the most of your visit by asking questions and taking advantage of every opportunity to talk with current students and professors to see if PUC is the right fit for you.

We hope you will join us for our February College Days. Don’t forget to sign up! You can also email visit@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to learn more and for information about our travel reimbursement policy.

Start Your California Adventure at Pacific Union College

We think California is such an incredible place for you to spend your college years, we’ll even help you get here!

The special Out-of-State Scholarship is for students choosing adventure. If your residential address is outside of California, you will receive an automatic award of $1,500; depending on other qualifications, up to $4,000 may be awarded.

There’s so much our state has to offer you! We may be biased, but we think this area is a pretty special location that offers just about everything you can imagine, and it is a great place to spend your college years. Visit our Northern California webpage to start exploring.

  • The heart of the tech world in Silicon Valley has countless internship and career opportunities
  • San Francisco has museums, sports teams, shopping, and other exciting cultural destinations and events
  • There’s also plenty of outdoor excursions to be had at Lake Tahoe, on the coast, or in the mountains
  • The nearby quaint towns of St. Helena, Calistoga, and Napa offer an array of activities and more importantly, incredible restaurants

We can’t wait for you to experience everything life in Northern California has to offer. If you live outside of the state and have been considering PUC, contact the Student Finance office for more information about the Out-of-State Scholarship, and other scholarships and aid you may qualify for. Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a financial aid counselor now. You can also learn more at puc.edu/scholarships.

Start 2019 Right: Apply for Cal Grant!

Hey California seniors! We hope you enjoyed your Christmas break with your friends and family. Now that you’re back in the swing of things, it’s a great time to start thinking about applying for Cal Grant.

What is 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!

How to Apply for Cal Grant

Applying for Cal Grant takes just two easy steps! To be considered for a 2019-20 Cal Grant award, you must complete the following requirements by March 2nd:

  1. Submit a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
  2. Ensure that a certified GPA is submitted to the California Student Aid Commission

GPAs are accepted only if certified by a school electronically or submitted by using the CSAC official GPA verification form. No transcripts are accepted.

*Due to March 2, 2019, falling on a Saturday, the CSAC will accept GPA verification forms postmarked no later than Monday, March 4, 2019.

Helpful Links

Need Help?

Our team of financial aid counselors in the Student Finance office is here to help if you have questions about Cal Grant and how much aid you may qualify for. Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor now.

Tips for Surviving Winter Quarter

Even here in sunny California, the winter months can seem a little long. With shorter days and cooler temperatures, it’s important to take some time for self-care. From one PUCite to another, here are some pro-tips and products to help you make it to spring!

  • Surround yourself with photos of friends and family.
  • Use less harsh lighting. Swap out your light bulbs for these indoor sunshine bulbs from Amazon.
  • Decorate your dorm room with candles. Target has a great battery operated option.
  • Get yourself a desk plant. Succulents are very popular and don’t take a lot of upkeep.
  • Make your room comfortable with extra pillows and blankets. Grab a plush toy even!
  • Invest in blackout curtains or a sleep mask to make sure you get some real rest.
  • Hang some Christmas lights up. Don’t bother undecorating after the holidays either, just leave them up for a little ambiance!
  • Use a diffuser with different essential oils. My personal favorites are lavender and rose.
  • Make sure to have hot cocoa mix and throw in a festive mug or two. My personal favorite is this Star Wars porg mug.
  • Stock up on Airborne, Zicam, and Emergen-C to fight off any bugs.
  • Pick one show you can watch weekly (or nightly) for a much-needed break.
  • Pack your cupboard full of microwaveable popcorn for a healthy-ish late night snack.
  • Chamomile tea helps with sleep and improves cognitive functions during the day, so have some on hand.
  • For a little extra quiet, have earphones for your study music and earplugs to help you sleep. There are cheap versions of each at places like Target, but Flare Audio ones have some outstanding reviews.
  • Remember even in the most stressful times, there is always a friend, resident assistant, dean, chaplain, or a professor who would be happy to take a few minutes to talk and pray with and for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to someone when you need some extra support.

These are just 15 simple ideas and products I personally find helpful. But don’t just take my word for it, ask friends and family and start your own list.

Visit PUC This Winter!

Choosing what college to attend is a very important decision and one you shouldn’t make without doing a lot of research. What better way to research the colleges you’re considering than by visiting them? We would be thrilled to have you and your family come visit PUC! Take a campus tour given by one of our student ambassadors, sit in on a class, chat with a professor, eat in our cafeteria, walk around the charming nearby towns of St. Helena or Calistoga, AND if you plan in advance, join us for any of the following upcoming and exciting events.

Pioneers Athletics Games

PUC has six varsity sports teams: cross country, basketball, and volleyball for women; and cross country, basketball, and soccer for men. Throughout the year, we invite you to our gymnasium, nicknamed the “Covered Wagon,” or our soccer field to join the Pioneers Posse and cheer on our teams. Here’s a short list of a few upcoming games; for the full schedule, visit pioneersathletics.com.

  • December 15, 2018 – Pioneers Athletics vs. UC Merced, women’s at 6:30 p.m. & men’s at 8:30 p.m.
  • January 12, 2019 – Pioneers Athletics vs. CSU Maritime, women’s at 6:30 p.m. & men’s at 8:30 p.m.
  • January 17, 2019 – Pioneers Athletics vs. Embry-Riddle (AZ), women’s at 5:30 p.m. & men’s at 7:30 p.m.

Rasmussen Art Gallery Openings

If you’re interested in seeing some incredible works of art, you won’t want to miss the Rasmussen Art Gallery. 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. If you can’t make it to one of the opening receptions, check with your tour guide to be sure to stop by and spend some time browsing during regular open hours.

  • January 12, 2019 – Opening Reception: Diana Majumdar, Halcyon, Encaustic, 7 p.m.
  • February 16, 2019 Opening Reception: Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition, 7 p.m.

For more information, visit the Rasmussen Art Gallery Facebook page.

Paulin Hall Music Concerts

PUC’s department of music has many concerts throughout the year; all of which are free to the public. The college has several ensembles that frequently perform, and there are usually multiple student recitals each quarter. For the Christmas holiday, there are several concerts we hope you can join us for!

  • December 6, 2018 – PUC String Ensemble Concert, 7 p.m.
  • December 7, 2018 – PUC Music Department Christmas Concert, 8 p.m.
  • December 8, 2018 – PUC Music Department Christmas Concert, 4 p.m.

Contact the department of music for more information; call (707) 965-6201 or email music@puc.edu.

Special Guest Lectures / Colloquies

Each year PUC is honored to host a myriad of interesting and knowledgeable guest lecturers. From our annual Civil Rights Lecture, our bi-annual Heubach lecture, and our bi-weekly colloquy speakers, there’s always something interesting in the lineup.

  • January 17, 2019 – Colloquy: Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance, 10 a.m.
  • February 21, 2019 – Colloquy: Dr. Scott Nelson, 10 a.m.
  • February 28, 2019 – Heubach Lectureship Series: Dr. Jon Paulien, 7 p.m.
  • March 7, 2019 – Colloquy: Career Day, 10 a.m. (followed by the annual Career Fair)
  • March 9, 2019 – Annual Lecture of the Percy & John Christian Civil Rights Conference Center, 4 p.m.

For more information about these events, check out the college’s calendar at puc.edu/calendar.

Join Us For February College Days!

Several times a year, we host special visitation events called College Days. College Days is a jam-packed event where you will experience PUC with other visiting students. In addition to campus visit standards like touring the campus, talking with a professor in your major of interest, and eating in our Dining Commons, it’s a great opportunity to get a glimpse into what it’s really like to be a student at PUC as you stay in one of the residence halls and attend social and academic events.

We hope you can make plans to join us for College Days on February 10-12, 2019. Register now!

For more information about College days and other ways to visit, check out puc.edu/visitors.

We can spend hours explaining what we think makes life at PUC so unique but there’s no better way than by experiencing it firsthand, so schedule your visit today! Before you arrive, be sure to apply and send in your admissions documents for a quick acceptance! It will make your visit even more special as you officially become a member of the Pioneers family.

Five Reasons to Apply to PUC Right Now

The fall season is prime time for high school seniors. If you haven’t already started looking at potential schools to attend next year, now’s the time—and why not start with Pacific Union College! Here are five reasons why you should consider applying to PUC today.

Make Friends for a Lifetime

One of the best things about attending PUC is living in one of our seven residence halls. About 75 percent of students live on-campus, which fosters a very close-knit community atmosphere. Students live together, study together, socialize, and worship together, which gives our campus a unique sense of unity. Besides being home for almost 10 months out of the year, the residence halls also provide students with activities like Dorm Olympics, weekly hall worships, and a chance to get to know other students outside the classroom.

Check out the Life at PUC page on our website to learn more about the true Pioneers experience.

Get Involved & Make a Difference

You don’t need to wait until you graduate to start helping with problems around the world. PUC students are already making a difference. With internships, missionary opportunities, service-learning projects, and on-campus ministry groups, you can be part of making change, today.

  • 75 percent of PUC students complete an internship by graduation
  • 10+ mission trip opportunities per year
  • 20,000+ hours PUC students have spent on service-learning projects
  • 10 campus ministry groups

Read about Lauren’s experience as a student missionary in our “How Uganda Love It?” blog post.

Have a Mentor in Your Corner

With a 12:1 student-teacher ratio, your professors will know you. They’re invested in helping you succeed. The one-on-one attention you receive in and out of the classroom will help make you a much more successful student. On top of professors’ regular office hours, students at PUC have many unique opportunities to strengthen relationships with their professors, including intramurals, pre-vespers, and community service projects. As you work towards your career goals, you will find your professors become more—they become your mentors who can help you along your journey, and ones you can still get advice from years after graduation.

 

Great Financial Aid Opportunities

Since 1882, PUC 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 percent of students qualify for financial aid
  • Most PUC scholarships renew for four years

Learn more about scholarships and other financial aid opportunities at puc.edu/scholarships.

Enjoy NorCal Life

One of the best things about life at PUC is our amazing location. Nestled in the mountains above the beautiful Napa Valley, students are #blessed to wake up each morning to gorgeous views of a perfect mixture of forest and vineyards. Surrounded by over 30 miles of picturesque hiking and biking trails with incredible destinations, allow for some of the most exquisite sunsets over the charming town of Angwin, perfect to get that Instagram-worthy photo. And just a car ride to San Francisco away holds all the culture you can dream of with galleries, concert halls, museums, theaters, sports stadiums, and plenty of shopping. With so many unique sites and attractions, you’ll always have somewhere to explore.

As you’ve seen, there are many advantages to attending PUC and we would be thrilled to welcome you into the Pioneers family! The online application is quick, easy to complete, and always free. Reach out to the Admissions office with any questions you might have by calling (800) 862-7080, option 2 or emailing admissions@puc.edu.

Don’t wait—apply to PUC now!