Mining for Gold on College Websites - COLLEGEdata - Explore Colleges
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Mining for Gold on College Websites

Take a virtual tour, explore the social scene, check out the faculty, and even read the student newspaper. All on the college's website.

Say you are on the home page of a college you want to learn more about. Where do you begin? Look for these sections, or search for them using the following terms.

Where to Start?

Admissions/prospective students. This section of the site tells you how to set up a campus visit or take a virtual tour. You can also see a calendar of events or information sessions for potential applicants.

About the college. Learn about the history of the college, famous alumni, awards and honors—even the surrounding community. The mission statement can reveal qualities that make the college unique.

Financial aid. Here you can find out how to apply for financial aid and what scholarships and work-study opportunities the college offers.

News. Press releases and news stories tell you what makes the college stand out and what it values.

Where to Research Academic Programs

Catalog. The online catalog lists majors, graduation requirements, and courses offered. If you don't have a major, you can see the breadth of academic programs the school offers.

Departments and majors. Most colleges have web pages and even whole websites devoted to academic departments. Here, you can learn about the faculty, current research projects, support services, course requirements, and even financial aid targeted at majors in that field.

Study abroad. Want to combine study with international experience? Make sure the college offers study abroad programs.

Volunteering/Internships. Many college students report that volunteer work and internships are among their most meaningful college experiences. Find out what the college has to offer.

Where to Size-up the Campus Culture

Student newspapers and campus publications. Writing by current students can tell you a lot about the campus politics, social life, values, and especially its collective sense of humor.

Diverse communities. Look for a section on diversity, or look for diversity in pages about student organizations. See if the college has a statement supporting diversity.

Unusual links. Look for links to unique and interesting experiences on the campus. This will give you some idea of the character and personality of the college community.

Alumni. What do graduates do with their lives? Do you identify with their stories? Is there an active alumni community with opportunities for networking after you graduate?

Where to Explore Recreational Opportunities

Activities and organizations. Student groups can range from religious to political to just plain fun. They provide a great way to meet people who share your interests and reflect the values and interests of the students.

The arts. Even if you do not possess a single creative bone, attending performances—from fine art to theater to music—will enrich your college experience. Look for upcoming performances and events.

Sports and recreation. From rock climbing to folk dancing to soccer, a roster of interesting activities means more options to relax and meet people.

Where to Learn About Available Support

Student services. Look for information about health care, technology, counseling, tutoring, and career support. You should also find descriptions of on-campus housing and residential life.

New students. Sections devoted to incoming freshmen can give you an idea of how the college welcomes its newest students and supports them during their first-year transition.

Employment. See if the college has a job placement office or career center and check out the possibilities.

What's Next?

For Students Age 18 and Older

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COLLEGEdata Dollars are
points you earn by
completing certain
COLLEGEdata activities

Ways to earn
COLLEGEdata Dollars:

  • Complete your Admissions Profile.
  • Add colleges to your College Choices.
  • Update your Admissions Statuses.
  • Use the College Match tool.

What are COLLEGEdata Dollars (CD$)?

COLLEGEdata Dollars (CD$) are points you earn by completing certain COLLEGEdata activities. The maximum number of CD$ you can redeem is 5000. Once you have earned at least 2500 CD$, you can redeem them for $25, which will be provided to you on a Loyalty Card, and once you earn another 2500 CD$, you can redeem those CD$ for a second $25, which will also be provided to you on a Loyalty Card.

Earn points and redeem them for
U.S. Dollars

Complete certain COLLEGEdata activities (for example, signing up, starting your Admissions Profile, searching for colleges, calculating your chances for admission, searching for scholarships, updating your Profile with your admission decisions). Each activity is worth a specific amount of points (CD$). You can redeem the points you earn for U.S. Dollars that will be issued to you in the form of a 1st Financial Bank USA Loyalty Mastercard®.

How do I earn COLLEGEdata Dollars?

You can earn CD$ by completing certain COLLEGEdata activities. As soon as you sign up and activate your COLLEGEdata account, explore COLLEGEdata and begin completing COLLEGEdata activities to earn points.

Here is a full list of COLLEGEdata activities for which you may earn CD$ and the number of CD$ you can earn by completing each activity.*

Activity
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Check your CD$ Dashboard at the bottom of the page to view your CD$ balance, find other activities that you can complete to earn CD$, and redeem the CD$ you have earned for U.S. Dollars.