Tag Archives: college finances

Get Started on Cal Grant

Hey California seniors! We hope you’re enjoying this new(ish) school year! It may seem early but it’s never a bad 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 2020-21 Cal Grant award, you must complete the following requirements by March 2nd:

  1. Submit a 2020-21 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.

Helpful Links

 

It’s Time for FAFSA!

It’s October 1 and do you know what that means? If you said to yourself, “They are obviously about to talk to me about FAFSA.” you would be correct! That’s right everyone, starting today, you can file your FAFSA and have your information sent to up to 10 colleges! 

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. 

Be 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 code—it’s 001258

FAFSA takes most people less than an hour to complete, 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. You can even 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 myStudentAid app. 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 2019-2020 award year, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,195!

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 an incredibly helpful and absolutely essential thing for you to have when making a decision about where to attend college. 

What are you waiting for? Start your FAFSA now at fafsa.gov!

 

Use PUC’s Net Price Calculator!

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Worried about affording college? Find out what you may qualify for!

Did you know 100 percent of PUC’s traditional undergraduate students receive financial aid? Last year, over $40 million was awarded to our 1,600 students based not only on merit, but leadership, Christian service, and much more. See a full list of PUC scholarships at puc.edu/scholarships.

PUC is committed to making a high-quality Christ-centered education possible. To find out how much aid you may qualify for, use our net price calculator to receive a preliminary estimate of your aid eligibility, including grants, loans, and PUC scholarships.

It takes less than 10 minutes—start now!

Five Financial Things You Can Do Now

The fall is always a busy time of year for high school students (and their parents!) as they finish their college applications and start to work on determining how much financial aid they’re eligible for. This year in particular can be stressful, with new changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), more information about which can be found at puc.edu/financeresources. The following is a short list to help keep you on track now that FAFSA has opened—it’s time to get ready for next year!

Apply to college

  • If you haven’t already, apply to PUC at puc.edu/apply
  • Be sure to list your Social Security Number so PUC can access your FAFSA
  • Send in your transcripts and one letter of reference

Submit the FAFSA
(Starting October 1)

  • Get your FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov, which will serve as your legal signature when you submit the FAFSA; your parents should get one too
  • Start your FAFSA at fafsa.gov—have income information from the previous tax year available to refer back to
  • Be sure to include PUC’s school code (001258) to have your data sent to PUC
  • List at least one in-state college, otherwise you may be ineligible to apply for Cal Grant (CA residents only)
  • Sign your FAFSA with both your FSA ID and your parent’s ID; keep proof of completion

Submit a GPA verification form to the California Student Aid Commission
(
March 2 deadline)

  • Both this form (available at csac.ca.gov) and your FAFSA are required by March 2 to apply for Cal Grant (CA residents only)
  • Be sure to get proof of mailing from the Post Office

Talk with a PUC financial counselor

Search for scholarships

  • See what PUC offers at puc.edu/scholarships (March 2 deadline)
  • A helpful list of external scholarship websites is available at puc.edu/outsidescholarships
  • Don’t limit your search to just online; check local organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, and your chamber of commerce to see what they offer
  • Ask your PUC financial counselor for ideas of where else to look

Your PUC Financial Checklist

There are several resources available to your family while you navigate the process of paying for a Christian college education. The Finance page of our Admissions website has examples of financial aid package, tips for finding your bottom line, and other helpful information. Our blog has a Finance section full of useful tips for college finances, including several lists of outside scholarships available to high school seniors from sites like Fastweb and more.

The Student Financial Services office at PUC also has Financial Counselors available by email or phone if you need help with anything related to finances. Feel free to email studentfinance@puc.edu or call 800-862-7080, option 1 if you have questions.

Below is a short financial checklist to help keep your family on track as you make plans for college.

  1. Start by filling out PUC’s Financial Aid Application. This basic form is needed to verify certain information that is not on the FAFSA.
  2. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine how much federal aid you’re eligible for, including grants and loans. PUC’s FAFSA code is 001258. Pro tip: If you (or your parents) haven’t done your taxes yet, you can use estimated numbers to submit the FAFSA, and update the application later once once you have filed your taxes.
  3. Once our Student Finance office has this information, they will start working on putting together a personalized financial aid estimate for you, which will show approximately how much per month it would cost for you to attend PUC.
  4. Talk with your Financial Counselor if you have any questions about your estimate and whether your family needs more aid.

If you have questions about what you can be working on when it comes to college finances, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Student Financial Services office!

Editor’s note: This is dated material and does not necessarily reflect how the student financial services office at PUC and the financial process currently operates. Please contact your financial counselor for more information.

Keep Working on College Finances This Summer

With your senior year coming to a close, you may be asking yourself “What more can I do to help pay for college?” If you’re thinking there’s nothing more that can be done, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are still plenty of options you can explore to help reduce the upcoming cost of college this fall.

Get a Job
I’ll start with PUC-related options first, since this is our Admissions blog after all! If you aren’t already aware, we have two matching programs in place to recognize students who have made certain contributions to the Adventist church:

  • Summer Ministries Leadership Match. PUC matches 100 percent of certified earnings that are applied to tuition by students who work at a SDA youth camp or in a youth ministry program in the summer prior to fall quarter enrollment, up to $2,000. The Association of Adventist Camping Professionals has a camp directory list of all the Adventist summer camps in the country.
  • Summer Literature Evangelism Match. PUC matches 100 percent of certified earnings that are applied to tuition by students who work as SDA literature evangelists in the summer prior to fall quarter enrollment, up to $3,000. Contact your local conference office for more information about programs in your area.

Of course, you can work other places in the summer as well and put a percentage of your earnings towards your college expenses. Even if you aren’t working full time, try to make sure at least part of what you’re making is saved to help reduce your family’s payments towards your school bill in the fall. If you can, save just $10 of your earnings per workday between June 1st and September 21st (when classes at PUC start), and assuming you work five days per week, it would give you $800 to put towards your bill. Every little bit counts!

You can also make plans to get a job on campus when you arrive for New Student Orientation and continue to make contributions to your bill throughout the school year. You can learn more about what jobs are available to students and how to apply for them by reading our “Working On-Campus Has Its Perks” post.

Apply for Scholarships
If you’ve given up your scholarship search thinking all deadlines have passed, it’s time to get back in front of your computer and start searching again! There are plenty of scholarships still available, it’s just up to you to find them.

Need More Help?
Our team of Financial Counselors in the Student Finance office can give you more ideas on other places to look for scholarships to help your family afford college. They can be reached at studentfinance@puc.edu or 800.862.7080 option 1.

Editor’s note: This is dated material and does not necessarily reflect how the student financial services office at PUC and the financial process currently operates. Please contact your financial counselor for more information.

PUC Finances Made Easy

Figuring out college finances is complicated. What loans or grants should you apply for? What scholarships do you qualify for? Luckily, PUC comes with a Student Finance department full of staff whose sole job is to help you out! If you haven’t talked with your personal Financial Counselor yet, go to http://www.puc.edu/admissions/finance to find out who you should talk with – Counselors are assigned based on last name. You can always call 800.862.7080 option 1 if you prefer as well.

College is an investment and you want to make sure you’re making a smart one, so spend a few minutes watching this short video to learn the basics of college financial aid and then give our Student Finance office a call with any questions you might have.

Editor’s note: This is dated material and does not necessarily reflect how the student financial services office at PUC and the financial process currently operates. Please contact your financial counselor for more information.