Spotlight on PUC Scholarships

Have you looked at the scholarships PUC offers yet? I encourage you to take a look at PUC and what we can offer you—it might surprise you! For example, did you know each year, we award over $30 million dollars in financial aid to our students? That’s a lot of money!

When you look at the costs for college, it’s important to keep in mind 100 percent of PUC students receive one or more forms of financial aid. Don’t feel discouraged by the sticker price! We are committed to working together with you and your family to make a high-quality Adventist college experience possible to help you on your journey to reach your academic goals and dreams, whether it’s through scholarships, grants, or helping you understand the loan options available to you. When taken wisely, loans are a helpful resource that enables students to access a great education, complete a degree, and enter the workforce prepared for their career. Did you know on average, students with bachelor’s degrees earn over $1 million more in their lifetime than those with only high school diplomas? College is absolutely a worthwhile investment!

On the scholarship topic, PUC offers scholarships based on a variety of factors, including leadership, participation in music groups or athletic programs, and of course high GPA and high test scores. There are also scholarships available depending on your program of study, like the Adventist Mission Scholarship, available to theology and education majors. Visit puc.edu/scholarships to see all available scholarships.

In particular, I want to highlight PUC’s merit scholarships, awarded through the President’s, Dean’s, Trustee’s, and Founder’s scholarships, which are based on unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores and are automatically given to students who meet the necessary criteria.

President’s Scholarship (Renewable with a 3.0 GPA)
3.75-4.0 GPA or 29+ ACT / 1350+ SAT
$13,000 / 4-Year Total: $52,000

Dean’s Scholarship (Renewable with a 3.0 GPA)
3.5-3.74 GPA or 26+ ACT / 1200+ SAT
$12,000 / 4-Year Total: $48,000

Trustee’s Scholarship (Renewable with a 3.0 GPA)
3.25-3.49 GPA
$10,000 / 4-Year Total: $40,000

Founder’s Scholarship (Renewable with a 3.0 GPA)
3.0-3.24 GPA
$9,000 / 4-Year Total: $36,000

For high-achieving students, PUC offers the prestigious Maxwell Scholarship, worth up to a whopping $116,000. That’s no joke! Students meeting qualifications receive full tuition based on their unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores; requirements are a 3.9-4.0 GPA and a 34+ ACT or 1500+ SAT.

There are also several other PUC scholarships worth checking out, like the Legacy Scholarship for students whose parents attended PUC, and the Mostert Leadership Scholarship, which recognizes students for selected leadership roles held during their junior and/or senior years. Visit puc.edu/scholarships to see all available scholarships. If you have questions about what you might qualify for, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of financial aid counselors, who can give you a financial aid estimate that shows what it might cost for you to attend PUC. It’s really helpful! Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to talk with a counselor now.

25 Scholarships to Apply for Right Now

Did you know there are literally thousands of outside scholarships you can apply for? Some of them have serious requirements like GPA requirements or essays while others are more fun and involve being creative, like putting together a video PSA or creating a greeting card. Here is a list of 25 scholarships open to high school seniors with application deadlines this winter and spring—and even a few into the summer, for those of you who need a little extra time.

Don’t forget to also check out PUC’s scholarships at puc.edu/scholarships!

The Christophers Annual Poster Contest Scholarship
Deadline: February 18, 2019
Award amount: $1,000

Another scholarship for artistic students, this scholarship asks students to create a poster interpreting the theme of “One Person Can Make a Difference.” There are also monetary prizes for second and third place, as well as up to five honorable mentions.

The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Deadline: February 20, 2019
Award amount: $10,000

To apply for this scholarship, applicants need to have demonstrated “compassion, courage, and a strong commitment to promoting a peaceful world through a vegetarian diet/lifestyle.” Two runners-up will receive $5,000 each.

DoSomething.org’s Not-So-Secret Admirer Scholarship
Deadline: February 21, 2019
Award amount: $5,000

It only takes one person to help someone follow through on their passions. That person could be you! Send one friend an encouraging message about pursuing their passion, and you’ll be entered to win a $5,000 scholarship.

The Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship
Deadline: February 21, 2019
Award amount: $25,000

This creative scholarship only requires you to submit a video (two minutes or less in length) that tells the story of your life’s passion. It could be a short film, animation, or just a simple testimonial. Awards range from $5,000 to $25,000.

The Asian Pacific Fund Scholarship
Deadline: February 26, 2019
Award amount: $5,000

For this scholarship, applicants must be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity (as defined by the U.S. Census); be the first in their immediate family to attend college; have a minimum GPA of 2.80; demonstrate financial need; and be a resident of California, with preference given to Bay Area residents. Two second place winners receive $2,500.

The Spirit of Anne Frank Scholarship
Deadline: February 28, 2019
Award amount: $5,000

To commemorate what would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday, this scholarship asks applicants to write a 1,000-word essay sharing how Anne’s legacy inspired them to take action in their community, school, or among peers.

The Toyota Teen Video Challenge
Deadline: February 28, 2019
Award amount: $15,000

If you’re into making videos, this is the scholarship for you! Create a video encouraging teens to drive safer, and you could win $15,000. Another sweet perk? If you win, you also get to work with a film crew to reshoot your video entry into a PSA to be aired on TV! Second place also nets you $10,000, and third place receives $7,500.

Unigo’s Sweet and Simple Scholarship
Deadline: February 28, 2019
Award amount: $1,500

Applicants are asked to respond to the following writing prompt: “Not every gift has to be expensive or extravagant. In fact, sometimes it’s the sweet and simple things that make a real difference in our lives. Think back and tell us about something you received as a gift and why it meant so much to you.” Entries must be 250 words or less.

The Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship
Deadline: March 1, 2019
Award amount: $10,000

Calling all artists! It’s worth taking the time to apply for this scholarship. Applicants must submit a design for the front of a Christmas card, holiday card, birthday card, or all-occasion card and the winning entry will be made and sold as a real greeting card!

The Project Yellow Light Scholarship
Deadline: March 1, 2019*
Award amount: $5,000

In honor of Hunter Garner, who was killed in a car accident, this scholarship asks students to create a video to encourage teens not to drive distracted. The winner receives a $5,000 scholarship, while the second place winner receives $2,000. Third place gets you $1,000. There are additional scholarships students can enter if they create a billboard or radio spot on the same topic. (*Note: Billboard entries are due March 1 while the video and radio entries are due April 1)

The Doodle for Google Scholarship
Deadline: March 18, 2019
Award amount: $30,000

Perhaps one of the coolest scholarships out there, the Doodle for Google scholarship asks applicants to create a doodle using any materials they want for a chance to win a $30,000 scholarship! Applicants also have to write a statement about their doodle and how it represents something that inspires them. In addition to the $30,000 scholarship, the grand prize winner has their doodle displayed on Google’s website for a day; earns a trip to Google headquarters in California; receives fun Googley swag, and their school receives a $50,000 technology package. Four national finalists are also chosen and each receives a $5,000 scholarship.

DoSomething.org’s Supplies, Sealed, Delivered Scholarship
Deadline: March 31, 2019
Award amount: $5,000

On any given day, there are almost 600,000 people experiencing homelessness in America. About one-quarter of them are teenagers or children. Now you can join the movement by providing daily essentials (like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and nonperishable foods) to a local homeless shelter. Plus, you’ll be eligible to win a $5,000 scholarship!

Unigo’s Superpower Scholarship
Deadline: March 31, 2019
Award amount: $2,500

How many of us have daydreamed about what we would do if we had a superpower? The possibilities are endless. This short essay contest asks students to answer the question “Which superhero or villain would you want to change places with for a day and why?”

The Frame My Future Scholarship
Deadline: April 1, 2019
Award amount: $5,000

Applicants must submit a collage, drawing, graphic design piece, painting, photograph, poem or another creative entry discussing what they hope to achieve in both their personal and professional life after college. The grand prize winner receives a $5,000 scholarship while the first runner-up receives a $1,000 scholarship, and the second runner-up receives a $500 scholarship.

The Sports Unlimited Annual Scholarship
Deadline: April 25, 2019
Award amount: $1,000

Write an essay between 500 and 1,000 words about what changes to sports and/or sports equipment you think we will see in the next 10 years and why for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.

Unigo’s All About Education Scholarship
Deadline: April 30, 2019
Award amount: $3,000

One of the largest scholarships Unigo offers, this one asks you to write a short essay (250 words or less) in response to the question “How will a $3,000 scholarship for education make a difference in your life?”

A Voice for Animals Scholarship
Deadline: April 30, 2019
Award amount: Varies

For this scholarship, you can write an essay or submit a photo or video to promote the humane treatment of animals. Awards vary by tier, with the top award being $500.

The Momentrix College Scholarship
Deadline: May 15, 2019
Award amount: $1,000

For this scholarship, you write an essay of 2,000 characters or less (approximately 400 words) about what test preparation practices work best for you and why. There are first, second, and third place prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250, respectively.

The Krylon Clear Choice Art Scholarship
Deadline: May 31, 2019
Award amount: $1,000

This scholarship awards five winners $1,000 each, as well as gives each winner’s school a $500 grant and Krylon supplies. To apply, you must submit a portfolio, an artistic statement, a letter of reference, and your transcripts.

Unigo’s Fifth Month Scholarship
Deadline: May 31, 2019
Award amount: $1,500

In celebration of the fifth month of the year, this short scholarship essay asks you to write a response to the following, in 250 words or less: “May is the fifth month of the year. Write a letter to the number five explaining why five is important. Be serious or be funny. Either way, here’s a high five to you for being original.”

Unigo’s Do-Over Scholarship
Deadline: June 30, 2019
Award amount: $1,500

This scholarship asks you to write a short essay (250 words or less) in response to the question “If you could get one ‘do-over’ in life, what would it be and why?”

The Stuck at Prom Scholarship
Deadline: July 9, 2019
Award amount: $10,000

This scholarship is probably one of the most famous college scholarships! To enter, students must create outfits made entirely of Duck brand duct tape to be worn to prom. Two entries will be chosen for the grand prize of $10,000; one for the dress category and the other for the tux category. Eight runners up will receive $500 apiece.

The Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest
Deadline: July 31, 2019
Award amount: Varies

If you have a way with words, this scholarship may be for you. Created in memory of Harold G. Henderson, the co-founder of the Haiku Society of America, applicants must submit five unpublished haikus. The winner receives $150, and their haiku will be published in the Frogpond magazine and on the Haiku Society of America’s website. Second prize receives $100 and third prize $50.

Unigo’s Flavor of the Month Scholarship
Deadline: July 31, 2019
Award amount: $1,500

Another short essay scholarship, this one asks you to write in 250 words or less a response to the question “If you were an ice cream flavor, which would you be and why?”

Unigo’s Make Me Laugh Scholarship
Deadline: August 31, 2019
Award amount: $1,500

Another great scholarship from Unigo, this one asks you to write in 250 words or less a response to the following writing prompt: “OMG… finding and applying for scholarships is serious business, but it’s time to lighten things up a little. We don’t want to know why you deserve $1,500 or how great your grades are, we simply want to LOL. Describe an incident in your life, funny or embarrassing (fact or fiction), and make us laugh!”

If none of these scholarships are appealing to you, simply do a little Google search to see what more you can find! There’s bound to be a scholarship available in your field of interest. And as always, our Student Finance team is here to help if you have questions about other places you can look to find additional scholarships to help make college affordable. Call (800) 862-7080, option 1 or email studentfinance@puc.edu to get connected with a financial aid counselor 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.

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.

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.

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.