I'm Eligible If I Live Where? - COLLEGEdata - Pay Your Way
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I'm Eligible If I Live Where?

Residency is one of the easiest ways to qualify for a scholarship, so why not take advantage of where you live?

Your state, county, and city residency can qualify you for hundreds of scholarships—including public college scholarships and scholarships sponsored by local businesses and organizations. In fact, the more local the residency requirement, the smaller the pool of applicants will be—increasing your chances of winning.

Residency-Based Scholarships from Public Colleges

Most scholarships at public colleges are for state residents only. State residents pay the taxes or support the lotteries that help fund the schools, so their children receive the benefit. You may automatically be in the running when you apply to the college, but ask the financial aid office about the scholarship application process just to be sure. Exceptions are frequently allowed for military personnel and their families, and for those who fall within "reciprocity agreements," which allow students from neighboring states to get in-state benefits.

Residency-Based Scholarships from Private Sponsors

All kinds of organizations and businesses sponsor scholarships for local residents. These might include service clubs that want to benefit students in their community, a professional association that wants to support students entering a certain profession, and employers based in the community that want to give scholarships to employees and their children. To find local scholarships, start with your high school college counselor. Also check with your town's chamber of commerce, your local library, and local chapters of professional associations related to any career you have in mind.

Proving Your Residency

To meet the residency requirement, you or your parents (if you're under 18) must have lived in the area for at least a year. Some public colleges require you to have lived in their state for two years or to have attended a particular high school for at least three years before applying for the scholarship.

If you're asked to prove your residency, you may need to show that for at least the past year, you or your parents

  • Filed a tax return or registered to vote from a local address
  • Were employed in the area
  • Owned, leased, or rented property in the area
  • Had a driver's license with a local address
  • Received bank statements or utility bills at a local address each month

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

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.

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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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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.