Here’s some news for anyone who’s in high school and applying to college. By way of this CNN Money article, a new startup called Raise.me lets you automatically earn small “micro-scholarships” from many different participating colleges simultaneously based on your individual achievements like:
- Taking specific courses and getting good grades.
- Participating in sports or other extracurricular activities like Yearbook club.
- Community Service
- Good standardized test scores on SAT, ACT, or AP exams.
- Other honors like National Honor Society, Eagle Scout or Golden Eagle award, or National Merit Scholar.
- Attending an event at a participating college.
For example, if you get an A in your English class this year, you can receive scholarships from dozens of colleges on raise.me all at once, including $1,000 from Tulane University, $500 from the University of Central Florida, and more. […]
When a college awards you scholarship money on raise.me, they are guaranteeing that they will include that scholarship money in your financial aid package if you apply for admission and are admitted. […] Each college on Raise.me has their own minimum GPA requirement.
Any US high school student in 9th through 12th grade is eligible, and you can enter your achievements retroactively. The money for the program is paid by charitable foundations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, colleges, and other funders like Facebook.
So far there are 76 participating colleges including Penn State, Loyola Marymount, Lewis & Clark, Michigan State, Temple, and University of Central Florida.
- This is ideal for smaller, lesser-known colleges to link up with good students that would never have considered them otherwise. The Harvards and Stanfords of the world don’t need this service.
- By linking up small, achievable goals with measurable rewards, you can motivate high school students to work harder. I applied for a few college scholarships back in the day, but I hated that it felt like you were writing a long essay in exchange for a lottery ticket. This approach, if scaled successfully, might allow merit-based aid to be distributed more evenly.
- Doesn’t is seem like the “gamification” of college scholarships? Like power-ups in video games, students can increase their scholarship “scores” gradually. You don’t want to make the entire high school experience a checklist, but hopefully it will be a net positive.
- I’d worry that this approach could be gamed by the colleges as well due to their “sticker price” model where they post some astronomical tuition that nobody really pays. In reality, they alter what they charge you based on your desirability to them. I’ve written about this phenomenon here, here, and here. In other words, most admitted applicants already get $20,000 or more in “grants” anyway.
If you have a child in high school, I don’t see why you wouldn’t encourage them to at least check this website out.