Monthly Archives: December 2014

How PUC Uses Test Scores

There are many things students need to keep track of when applying to college. There are transcripts to be sent in, references to be requested, tests to take and potentially essays to write. These days, the average student applies to nine schools, and that’s a lot of requirements to keep track of. Below are five common questions our office receives from students wondering how PUC handles test scores.

“When does PUC need my test scores?”

A little different than most state and public schools, we don’t require test scores for admission for first-time college students, with the exception being for admission on academic probation and for international students.

The only real deadline for submitting test scores is the first day of school, as they are required to begin classes. However, waiting until then to submit your scores can impact what classes you’re able to register for, as test scores are used for placement into Math and English classes.

For transfer students, test scores are only required for students who have not successfully taken the equivalent to College Algebra or English 101.

“What test does PUC require – the ACT or the SAT?”

PUC accepts both the ACT and the SAT.

“What’s the minimum test score PUC accepts?”

Only international students must reach a certain minimum score for either the ACT or SAT; a score of 15 or higher on the English section of the ACTs, or a score of 380 or higher on the Critical Reading section of the SATs. (Please note, PUC also accepts scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, MELAB and iTEP for international students. Visit the Apply page of our website to learn more.)

“What scholarships does PUC offer for high test scores?”

PUC uses test scores for several scholarships for incoming freshmen, including our highest scholarship, the Maxwell Scholar Program worth $15,000 each year. Five winners can receive it, and five runners-up receive $12,000 per year. One of the requirements is having a minimum score of 26 on the ACTs or a 1700 on the SATs, in addition to leadership experience, Christian service, and a GPA of at least a 3.5.

The President’s and Dean’s Scholarships are other scholarships available to incoming freshmen and can be awarded based on high test scores (or high GPA). For the President’s Scholarship, worth $10,000 per year, students need a minimum score of 29 on the ACTs or a 1900 on the SATs. The Dean’s Scholarship requires a minimum of 26 on the ACTs or a 1700 on the SATs and is worth $9,000 per year. Both scholarships are renewable with a 3.5 GPA.

You can read more about the requirements for these scholarships by visiting the Finance page of our website. (Please note, the Maxwell Scholar Program cannot be combined with either the President’s or Dean’s Scholarships.)

“Why should I retake either test?”

With the New Year around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to take the ACTs or SATs, or retake them if you aren’t satisfied with your score. I know it doesn’t sound like the most fun to take a standardized test again since it’s several hours of your time, but as you’ve seen, there’s serious scholarship money available for students who do well on these tests.

Below is a list of all upcoming test dates and registration deadlines for both the ACTs and SATs.

Upcoming test dates

For more information about the ACTs, including information about late registration deadlines and fees click here.

For more information about the SATs, including information about late registration deadlines and fees, click here.

Our six Enrollment Counselors are ready to help if you have questions about applying to PUC! Call our office at 800.865.7080 option 2 Monday-Thursday from 8 AM – 5 PM, and Friday from 8 AM – 1 PM to get connected with a Counselor. You can also email us at or chat with us on our website (business hours only).

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.

Double Major? No Problem!

By Becky Buhrke Becky

So you’ve graduated high school. Check. You’ve moved into your college dorm room. Check. You know exactly what you want to study…or not? College can be overwhelming for students trying to narrow down what major they want to study – after all, the rest of your life and career rests on these decisions. What happens when you can’t just chose one major? What if you want to major in more than one thing? No problem. PUC is the place to double major!

Whether you simply have two different areas of study you want to examine more, or you want to pair up two majors that work well together for a professional career – or even graduate school – PUC gives you the opportunity and resources you need to successfully double major. As a double major myself, studying English with an Emphasis in Writing and History with a European History Emphasis, here are a five tips for anyone considering double majoring:

1. Take Advantage of PUC’s Quarter System

Unlike in a semester system school, it’s relatively easy to graduate in four years with a double major. Why is this? Typically, each semester or quarter, the average student will take around 15-17 credits. That means with a semester school, you can take up to 34 credits a school year – but in a quarter system, up to 51 credits. More credits means you can take more classes you need in order to graduate on time. The key is to take advantage of this system. Some students take the bare minimum number of credits each quarter to be considered a full time student (12 credits) and as a result, it takes them longer to graduate and it’s practically impossible to double major. I suggest taking at least 15 credits per quarter to stay on track.

2. Manage Your Time Well

You’ve probably heard this before: “In college, you have three options: sleep, school, and friends. You can only choose two.” Where you put your energy is where you will succeed in those various aspects of life. College can be a tough transition for the average high school student because it requires you to put in a lot more hours of studying for your classes. This doesn’t mean you can’t balance this stress out though. Make sure to find time for yourself too – you don’t want to get burned out!

Over time, you will gradually become accustomed to higher levels of stress. Try and space out some of your harder classes with some easier general education classes. If possible, instead of having your first two years comprised entirely of GE classes, mix it up with some major classes so by your senior year, you won’t be overwhelmed with entirely upper division classes. Work with your advisor as well so you know exactly what classes to take and when.

3. Get Involved With Your Departments

This doesn’t mean you have to join a club or an honors society (though those are great things to get involved with!), but make sure you get to know your advisors and students within your major – they will become the support group you need to survive difficult classes.

The professors at PUC take the time to learn your name and get to know you. Part of the benefit of attending here are the small class sizes, which make it easier for professors to form personal relationships with students than it is at larger public schools. Most departments have pre-vespers several times a year, when a professor opens up their home for students to visit, worship, and have delicious food. Making an effort to go to events like these will help you become familiar with people in your department. And who knows – maybe your department will become your second family!

4. Choose Subjects You Love

I’ve talked with countless seniors over the years who wished they majored in something they liked. Don’t wait until it’s too late – pick something now you like and you won’t regret it. Never choose a career only for the money; you will eventually end up hating it. By choosing a subject you have a genuine interest and passion in, you will enjoy going to class and studying. Then when you apply for jobs in a field you’re interested in, listing two degrees instead of one on your resume shows you’re dedicated and knowledgeable. It will also set you apart from the other applicants, which is always a good thing.

5. Be Prepared

Know what you are getting into with a double major. Most majors require you complete a senior thesis – two majors means two theses. Is that impossible? Not at all! If you put your mind to it, you will be able to. Students do it all the time. However, you will have to put more dedication and time into your studies than your friends, and if you end up taking an extra year to graduate, that’s another year you have to pay for. Double majoring is easier than people think, but it also doesn’t mean your time here will be a breeze. College is hard whether you’re taking one major or two. Both are going to require hard work and discipline!

As I am coming to the end of my college experience, I must say I truly enjoyed my time at PUC as a double major. It was definitely worth the extra effort and provided a nice challenge for me in my college life. I recommend doing a double major for anyone that is interested! You won’t regret it.

Editor’s note: If you’re thinking about double majoring, you should also consider taking summer classes to help lighten your course load during the regular school year! Classes at PUC during the summer are 50% off too. Learn more by reading our blog post “Why You Should Take a Summer Class at PUC.”

Change: A Transfer Student’s Guide

By Igdaly Patel IgdalyPatel

CHANGE! How many of us are worried about change? Oftentimes we experience a nervous feeling in our stomach because of the unknown. Many colleges place a lot of emphasis primarily on their incoming freshman class, making sure their transition from high school into college life is seamless. But why do we forget about transfer students?

We must keep in mind transfer students go through major changes as well. For these students, leaving home or another college for a new academic environment can be scary as they enter a new campus culture. Meeting new people and getting acquainted with a new school environment can be very challenging to say the least. However, it is a good thing to be challenged out of your comfort zone, and embark upon new territory and start that college journey. Even though at times it may seem easier to stay where you are, there are many benefits that come with change.

Working closely with transfer students this year has helped me learn more about the types of questions that are most important in the process of transferring. Below, I have listed the top three questions that transfer students consistently ask me.

1. Are my credits transferable?

Finding out if your credits are transferable is probably the determining factor for most transfer students. Some potential transfer students are under the impression their credits will automatically transfer over towards their major. However, this is not always the case and there are no guarantees courses will be transferable. I always encourage students to research the institution they want to transfer over to. Take a look at their course catalog. You can get an idea of how many of your credits could potentially be applied towards your major by simply exploring the PUC general catalog. You can also contact our Records Office before taking a course at another school to make sure we will accept those credits. Speak to your academic advisor at your school and the school you’re planning to transfer to.  Keep in mind each school reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at another institution.

2. How and when can I register for classes?

Once you’ve been accepted to PUC, our Records Office will complete a degree audit/evaluation of your transcripts, and when it’s completed, it will be available on your WebAdvisor account where you can see how your transfer credits apply to your degree requirements at PUC. Based on your chosen major and/or pre-professionals goals, an academic advisor will be assigned to you and they will assist you on setting up your class schedule. They will also suggest to you any academic success strategies and answer any questions you may have regarding our academic policies. Once you have discussed and planned your class schedule with your advisor, you can register for classes using your WebAdvisor account. Learn more by reading our “The Basics of Your WebAdvisor Account” blog post.

3. Do we offer scholarships for transfer students?

Cost is another huge determining factor for whether or not a student decides to transfer to a different college. PUC offers scholarships for transfer students, and one such scholarship is the Academic Achievement Scholarship for transfer students. This scholarship is solely based on your college cumulative GPA, and all you need to do is submit your academic transcript to the Admissions office. For more information regarding the scholarships we offer, visit

There’s also an unbelieveable amount of scholarships available to college students on websites and search engines. Be sure to check out our “Five Tips for Finding College Scholarships” blog post for ideas of where you can start looking for money to pay for college. Who doesn’t want to  get some free money towards their education?

There’s still plenty of time for you to do everything necessary to become a PUC student this year. Winter quarter starts on Monday, January 5th and spring quarter on Monday, March 30th. For more information about transferring to PUC please contact me! You can reach me at or 707-965-6642. My job is to help anyone planning or considering transferring to PUC, and to make that transition as smooth as possible.

Alumni Profile: Jasmine Kelley

Here at PUC we have some amazing alums doing everything from helping to animate feature films to publishing children’s books. Jasmine “Jassy” Onya’e Kelley graduated PUC in 2012 with a degree in Photography and Graphic Design. Recently she decided to use her degree and her creative skills to start her own business selling handmade, all natural skincare products.

We sat down with Jasmine and asked her some questions about starting her own business and her time at PUC.

Jassy 1

1. You recently started your own business – Did you ever think that was something you would do?

It’s something I have always wanted to do, but I didn’t have the confidence back then to actually start it. Sometime after college I started working for small business owners who inspired me to start my own business. I saw how happy and successful they were and I wanted the same thing – to be successful on my own.

2. Describe your typical work day.

After waking up, I write down a list of tasks I need to complete before the day is over in my day planner. Tasks like making products, completing Etsy orders, shipping orders, posting on social media, taking inventory, and responding to emails.

3. How did your major prepare you to start your own business?

Having the knowledge of photography and graphic design helped me have control over my style, which fonts I want to use, how they will work with my aesthetics, etc. Being able to photograph my products in certain light using different backgrounds any time I want without relying on others is nice. It’s great being able to do it all by myself.

Jassy 3

4. How did your classes and professors at PUC help prepare you for starting your own business?

My classes at PUC helped me realized which paths I wanted and did not want to take. I knew I loved web design, but I lacked certain skills with coding and I did not have the patience for it. I loved designing books, layouts, and covers and being able to create something new, but I lacked the ability to design with a pencil and found my skill through the computer. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses and in turn what I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.

My photography and design professors really inspired me to stay on top of my game, to always take the time to go above and beyond and to check everything twice, to make sure my work was clean and understandable and that my presentation was strong. I also noticed my design professors had their own design projects outside of teaching and I loved seeing how they found time while still being amazing teachers. One particular marketing professor inspired me when it came to advertising and putting myself out there. I learned a lot in that class and it was one of my favorite GEs to take.

5. Have you had any support from the faculty and staff at PUC?

Yes I have had lots of support from my college professors. Some gave me feedback when I had doubts about which design approach to take with the look of my business and several have actually purchased some of my products! They didn’t have to, but it makes me feel special knowing they are proud of me and their support truly means a lot!

Jassy 2

6. What advice would you give PUC students who are considering starting their own business?

Even if you have your doubts, just go for it and don’t let anyone stop you. I didn’t read a book on how to start a business – I just did it. It all came together in a matter of months and I learned a lot more as my business grew. You don’t always have to go by the book. Every business is different. Use your resources, try new things, take advice from people you look up to, ask questions and most importantly, take action.

7. If you could go back in time and tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell myself to stop doubting, ask more questions, and to just try.

Check out Jasmine’s Etsy shop at

Five More Reasons to Apply to Pacific Union College

If our “Five Reasons Why You Should Apply to PUC” post last week didn’t already convince you, here are another five reasons you should apply to PUC!

PUC students worship together in the campus mall.

PUC students worship together in the campus mall.

1. A Community of Students

There are close to 1,700 students at PUC, and about 80% live on-campus in one of seven residence halls; four for women and three for men. Besides being home for almost 10 months out of the year, the residence halls 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 Campus Culture page on our website to learn about student life at PUC.

2. Get Your Money’s Worth

In September of 2013, ranked PUC in the top 13% of colleges for return on investment (ROI), making us the highest-ranked Adventist college on their list of College Education ROI rankings. This ranking demonstrates PUC graduates have a greater earnings gap than students without a four-year degree. Read about how an education at PUC can benefit you on the Finance section of our website as well as learn about our scholarship opportunities.

This past summer a group of PUC students went to Fiji for a mission trip.

This past summer a group of PUC students went to Fiji on a mission trip.

3. Make an Impact

Our students strive to make a difference not only globally, but locally as well. Whether you have an afternoon, weekend, week, or even a year to give, there’s a variety of ways students can serve God and help others:

  • Over 1,340 PUC students have served as missionaries around the world
  • Every Friday afternoon, Clearlake Homeless Ministries visits local areas in need
  • REVO, a student-run organization, has raised over $36k since 2008 for various humanitarian organizations
  • This year, PUC students will go to Nicaragua and the Amazon for week-long mission trips

4. Experience Different Cultures

Recently, PUC was ranked the 3rd most diverse liberal arts college in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Students have an opportunity to work, study and live with other students from a variety of backgrounds and learn about many different cultures. There’s several prominent cultural clubs students can join regardless of their ethnicity; including the Black Student Union, Hawaiian Club, and the Students Organization of Latinos. You can view a full list of student-run clubs at PUC on the Campus Clubs page on our website.

Emergency Services students get hands-on training in the field.

Emergency Services students get hands-on training in the field.

5. Learn Outside the Classroom

At PUC, students are given an opportunity to get some hands on learning outside the classroom. Our Communication and Psychology/Social Work departments present their research at respected conventions like the National Communication Association and the Western Psychological Association. The Business Department’s Enactus, which enables students to make progress through entrepreneurial action, work with local businesses and college departments. Students majoring in Film & Television have the opportunity to intern with prestigious places like Sofia and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company, and other internship opportunities are presented to PUC students during the annual Career Day fair.

The next step for you is to fill out our online application, available at – it’s always free. We look forward to working with you!

Five Reasons You Should Apply to PUC

Fall season is prime time for high school seniors. The average student applies to nine colleges, and if you haven’t already started looking at potential schools, now’s the time – and why not start with PUC! Here are five reasons why you should consider applying.

1. Outstanding Academics

We offer over 70 different majors to choose from, with our top five programs being Nursing, Biology, Business, Communication, and Visual Arts, which makes us a true liberal arts college. We are the only Adventist college or university recognized as a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News & World Report. Visit for information about each of our majors.


2. Our Location

Imagine living in a world famous vacation destination spot that’s sunny an average of 262 days a year! PUC is located atop Howell Mountain in the heart of the Napa Valley. Everywhere you look, you’ll find breathtaking views and lots of interesting things to do.

  • Explore PUC’s unique hiking and biking trails
  • Head to nearby St. Helena or Calistoga for lunch and window shopping
  • Spend the day in San Francisco visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, taking a trolley ride, or watching a game from one of the many championship sports teams

Not sure where to start? Let our blog team’s favorite places in the Bay Area guide you!

3. Relationships with Professors

One of the advantages of attending a small liberal arts college like PUC is having the opportunity to form real relationships with your professors. With a 13:1 student-teacher ratio, you will never be just another face in a crowded classroom. The majority of professors list their email address and their home number on their syllabi if students need to contact them. Professors also have regular office hours where they’re available for students to stop by and talk with, and many frequently invite students into their homes for pre-vespers each quarter.


4. We’re Active

We don’t mean to brag, but our intramurals program was ranked #1 in the nation by last year. Getting involved on an intramurals team is a great way to make friends, as close to 50% of students on-campus participate in the program. Read our  “Fire It Up!” blog post to learn how you can join a team or start your own.

5. You Can Afford It

Sticker prices can be intimidating, but it’s important to keep in mind nobody pays them.

  • Each year, PUC awards $36 million in financial aid to our students
  • Most PUC scholarships renew for four years
  • 100% of our students receive financial aid
  • The average out-of-pocket payment for students is about $6,656

We’re doing our part to make Christian higher education affordable. Learn more at

Our application is available at and it’s always free. There are multiple ways you can reach our office and talk with an Enrollment Counselor if you have questions. Call 800.862.7080 option 2, email, or chat with us on our website (weekdays only).

Still not convinced? Check out our follow up post “Five More Reasons to Apply to Pacific Union College.”