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How to Find Out What a College Wants

Before you apply, it's smart to learn what a college wants in a student. The more you can show you are that student, the better your chances.

"Do I have what it takes to get in?" Answers to this question might seem tough to find. But clues are sitting out in plain view. You just need to know where to look and who to ask.

Ask the College What it Wants

Contact your college rep. Most colleges have admission staff who interact with potential applicants. These representatives can look at your qualifications and talents and see how you match up with the qualities they look for in an applicant. To get the name of your representative, call the college or ask your counselor.

Reach out via social media. Check out blogs and Facebook pages the college admission office maintains. You can post questions for admission staff and current students. Many admission offices are raising the curtain on the admission process and are happy to provide answers—and get to know you.

Ask People Who Have the Inside Scoop

Meet with your high school counselor. A visit to the counseling office might yield information about the qualifications that specific colleges consider important, especially colleges often attended by students from your high school. Your counselor can also help you interpret information you have received from a college and suggest ways to improve your qualifications.

Talk to current college students. Students attending your favorite campuses can help you understand what it takes to thrive at those colleges. To find these people, ask your counselor, family friends, and your own friends who may have siblings in these colleges.

Ask CollegeData

Look at the facts about who gets in. Each of CollegeData's College Profiles display priority admission factors and average GPA and test scores from recently admitted classes. Looking over the college's admission requirements will also give you a sense of what it takes to get admitted.

Find out more about admitted students. Using the Admissions Tracker, you can check out the test scores and GPAs of students who were accepted, denied, and waitlisted to many colleges.

What's Next?

For Students Age 18 and Older

Have you received a Personal Invitation to apply for a Student Credit card?

Learn how to qualify for a Personal Invitation to apply for a Student Credit Card


1st Financial Bank believes students who pick colleges wisely will also want to learn how to use credit cards wisely.

College MatchFind the right colleges for you!
College ChancesWill you get in? Find out!
Admissions TrackerSee who got in where, who's applying & how you compare!
Financial Aid TrackerSee who's getting financial aid, how much & how you stack up.
Scholarship FinderFind money for college!
EFC CalculatorCalculate your Expected Family Contribution.
College Net Price CalculatorSee your true out-of-pocket cost to attend any college.
Compare Financial Aid AwardsFind out which college is offering you the best deal.
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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
CD$
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+ CD$
You just earned COLLEGEdata Dollars!
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.