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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using CollegeData as an Education Consultant

If you’re an independent education consultant (IEC or counselor), especially one who has recently begun practicing, filtering through thousands of colleges and the courses they offer for students can be daunting. Scouring college websites individually to check if a particular course matches a student’s profile is time-consuming and inefficient, especially when you have several students to attend to. 

To save time and be more efficient, you need a comprehensive database that filters through colleges and scholarship opportunities based on criteria like admission difficulty, acceptance rate, average GPA and other test scores, cost, sport, and other metrics that form part of a high school student’s college application profile. In this case, a great resource to consider is CollegeData, an online database and college and scholarship search engine that counselors can use to find appropriate colleges and scholarships and also access resource materials to better counsel students on the transition to college life.

What is CollegeData all about?

CollegeData, provided by 1st Financial Bank USA, is a free online college and scholarship database and advisory service for counselors and students. The website lets you access information on more than 2,000 U.S. colleges and over $5 billion in financial aid. If you’re a counselor, you can use the website to search for appropriate colleges for students by filtering by location, size, selectivity, cost, major, application deadline, diversity, and more. You can also estimate a student’s chance of getting into a college, track application status and admissions of multiple students from a single dashboard, search from 595,000 scholarship opportunities, calculate the out-of-pocket cost of attending a university, and compare financial aid offers side-by-side.

Here are 10 reasons why we think CollegeData should be an essential resource for you:

  1. You have comprehensive information on colleges at your fingertips CollegeData has information on over 2,000 colleges and 595,000 scholarship opportunities worth $5 billion! You have access to admission statistics, financial aid information, details of on-campus facilities and life, and more information to help you counsel students on the best possible college for them.

  2. You can use CollegeData’s customized search tools to find appropriate college and scholarship opportunities for students The website’s College Search function lets you find a college based on location, kind of university (public or private), gender mix, percentage of ethnic minorities and international students, entrance difficulty (no preference, minimal, moderate, difficult, and most difficult), GPA of current and past years’ freshman class, graduation percentage, cost of attendance, average student debt, average aid offered, sports offered, and major. Similarly, you can find awards and grants based on gender, average GPA, essay requirements, state of residence, religion, major, ethnicity, and college location. 

  3. You can calculate students’ chances of getting into a particular college You can access the College Chances tool, which estimates students’ chances of getting into any of the universities listed on the website. CollegeData uses GPA, class rank, honors coursework (if any), test scores, extracurricular activities, positions of leadership, and other achievements to rank your chances of getting in between low, medium, and high. 

  4. You can use the Admissions Tracker tool to create college lists The Admissions Tracker tool tracks your application status at different colleges and compares your profile to other students who have applied to the same place. The tool plots scattergrams to visualize your scores compared to other applicants and previous years’ freshmen. The tool can even sort your college list based on application status (accepted, pending, denied, pending, waitlisted, etc). 

  5. You can browse 595,000 scholarship opportunities worth $5 billion The Scholarship Finder tool lets you search for grants and awards based on essay requirements, GPA, gender, state of residence, ethnicity, religion, major, and college location. Once you shortlist scholarships, the contact information of the sponsor is available to make further inquiries.

  6. You can calculate the net cost of attending a particular college College affordability is a significant factor in deciding where to study. CollegeData offers an expected family contribution (EFC) calculator to estimate how much financial aid you would need if you attended a particular college. EFC is based on information submitted in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Counselors subtract the EFC from the total cost of attendance (tuition + housing + miscellaneous) and estimate financial aid. CollegeData then helps you calculate the net price of attending a college, a sum of EFC, “self-help aid” (loans), and the remaining unmet financial need.

  7. You can use CollegeData’s Common App guide to keep track of application deadlines, fees, and requirements CollegeData offers a crash course on using Common App, a centralized platform to easily apply to universities. CollegeData’s Common App guide offers information on admission deadlines, fees, and forms required in one place. Using the guide, counselors can search for a particular university and immediately obtain deadlines for early and regular admission, fees whether applying online or by mail, and if students need to submit personal essays, recommendation letters, and school reports.

  8. You can stay informed about the trends and best practices in college counseling CollegeData offers a rich library of 200+ articles on all topics related to college admission and a wide variety of video tutorials. Apart from resources on topics like financial aid, admissions, and test preparation, you can also access information that can give you insights that make you a better counselor. CollegeData discusses whether a gap year can help students, how to convince undecided high schoolers to go to college, how freshmen should approach their first year in college, the importance of networking, building relationships with professors, and other topics that could guarantee students’ success in life. The website also features blogs by students who narrate their experiences of applying to a particular college and describe everyday campus life. There’s also a news portal that rounds up the latest campus developments.

  9. You can rely on CollegeData for up-to-date information  CollegeData constantly updates its website with the latest information on application deadlines, fees, admission rates, financial aid information, and other criteria relevant to the application process. As a counselor, you can be confident that the information you obtain from the website to guide students is accurate!

  10. You can find the information you need in a single click CollegeData’s user-friendly interface is easy to navigate and the available information is well-organized, which saves you a lot of time. There are quick links to access the College Search and Scholarship Finder options to filter through thousands of opportunities instantly, and there is a dedicated section with all the college tools (to calculate chances of admission, track admissions, calculate net cost, compare offers, and the Common App guide). 

If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Kieran Lobo is a freelance writer from India, who currently teaches English in Spain. 

Image Source: CollegeData logo



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