By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large
With the support of a variety of groups and organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook, and the University of Pennsylvania, there’s an innovative website out there now through which high school students can earn “micro-scholarship” money for smaller individual achievements realized throughout their high school careers. Raise.me is something “new and improved” in the world of college scholarships, where everyday students can earn money as they make their way from freshmen to seniors; the opportunity makes scholarship money accessible for young people in a way that has not existed previously.
Eligible achievements include a wide variety of things, such as earning an “A” in a class, participating in an after-school activity, and performing community service. Each time a student completes a “bite-sized” achievement, a college that the student as selected to “Follow” through the Raise.me website will credit money to the student’s account, which can be cashed in at the time the student formally enrolls in that school.
A student has to choose to “Follow” a participating college in the Raise.me platform in order to receive credits of scholarship money for his eligible achievements. Each participating college will have its own requirements as far as eligibility to receive their scholarship dollar credits, but none of the requirements seem terribly onerous. A student can “Follow” as many participating colleges as he wants, but may only cash in credits from the school he eventually decides to attend. The money is paid by the school at the time the student’s financial aid package is calculated.
If you have a high school student at home, or know someone who does, by all means, look into Raise.me. Right now, there are over 100 schools presently participating, but that list is expected to grow significantly in the near term. I don’t know of another program like Raise.me, but it may well prove to be the first of many such platforms that helps, through its unique approach, to rein in the cost of college for young people who are finding that cost to be increasingly prohibitive.