Renewable Scholarships Are Best - COLLEGEdata - Pay Your Way
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Renewable Scholarships Are Best

Don't be caught short of college funds when your scholarship disappears after freshman year!

What makes a scholarship four times as valuable as another scholarship? Being renewable for every year of college.

Hooray, You Got a Scholarship! Darn, It's Not Renewable!

Winning a scholarship can be a joyful occasion, but be sure to read the fine print. In fact, find out if a scholarship is renewable even before you apply for it. "Renewable" means you will be awarded the scholarship for every year of college if you meet the scholarship's rules. If a scholarship's description does not specify that it is renewable, don't assume that it is. Contact the sponsor to clear this up.

Should You Accept a Nonrenewable Scholarship?

If you choose to accept a nonrenewable scholarship, your college might make up the difference in later years by increasing your grant aid. But if not, you'll have to win more scholarships, work more hours, borrow more money, or pay more out of pocket. If you are relying on the nonrenewable scholarship to make college affordable, you might want to delay accepting it and keep looking for a scholarship that is renewable.

The Ins and Outs of Renewing Scholarships

To renew a scholarship you must prove that you still deserve the award. The most common requirement is "satisfactory academic performance" in your preceding year of full-time study. What is "satisfactory" can be a certain GPA, or it can be vague. Get clarification from the sponsor. Other requirements can include residency in a certain state, financial need, and dependency on your parents. You may have to reapply as frequently as every semester.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Have a backup plan if you rely on scholarships to help pay for college. Nothing is guaranteed. Private scholarships may or may not be available in later years, even if they are renewable. Or your eligibility may suddenly change.

What's Next?

Note: Financial information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not apply to your situation. Contact a financial or tax advisor before acting on such information.

For Students Age 18 and Older

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

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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.