It's Not Just About Your GPA... - COLLEGEdata - Pay Your Way
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It's Not Just About Your GPA...

It's easy to assume that only super achievers get scholarships. While having a decent GPA is important, there are other ways to qualify.

If you don't have an awesome GPA, you should skip looking for scholarships, right? Wrong! Many scholarships don't specify a GPA at all. Even if a GPA is required, sometimes the minimum is only a C average.

Grades Might Not Enter the Picture

Many scholarships emphasize other requirements, such as your involvement in extracurricular activities, your residence in a particular city, or the employment of one of your parents by the scholarship's sponsor. This is not to say that these scholarships don't have any academic requirements; it's just that academics are not the primary basis for eligibility.

Grades Are Relative

While your GPA might not make you a candidate for Harvard, your grades might be attractive to less selective schools. These schools might offer scholarships and other aid to motivate students with your credentials to attend. Use tools such as College Match to look up the average GPAs and test score ranges of previously enrolled freshmen at the colleges that interest you. If your grades and scores compare favorably, you may qualify for a scholarship after all.

Don't Give Up

It is certainly possible to win a scholarship from less selective colleges or for reasons other than superior academic ability. So don't be deterred from looking for scholarships just because you're not in the top 5 percent of your high school senior class. The money's out there, waiting for someone like you to apply for it.

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.

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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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Congratulations!
+ 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.