According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 94 percent of parents fully expect their children to attend college, but funding the college dream is a formidable, almost impossible task. Most students dream of a full-ride scholarship, but the odds of receiving one of those is on par with winning the lottery. About 80 percent of scholarships will come from the institution a student attends, and finding outside scholarships is extremely labor-intensive. Additionally, the timing of receiving traditional scholarships is inconvenient. Students already have made up their minds on what college to attend months before graduation.
There’s a new way to earn smaller scholarships based upon grades, honors, community service and awards you’ve earned in high school. What if you could earn $400 for being on the speech and debate team or $100 for getting a score of “95” in Spanish? If that appeals to you, visit the website: https://www.raise.me/
Raise.me began three years ago, the brainchild of three college friends who were a bit disillusioned about the price of college and the difficulty in finding information on scholarships to fund their education.
When students log in and create a profile on the website, they’ll see a list of goals and tasks listed by different colleges. Students then enter their achievements (varsity sports, volunteering, AP U.S. history, etc.) and their earnings are instantly displayed in their portfolio. As students get closer to graduation, they’ll be able to redeem the micro scholarships they’ve earned over the past four years. It’s the colleges or other institutions who fund the micro scholarships. Right now, there are more than 100 participating colleges, 70 of which are close to the Lubbock region, including Texas Tech University and Southwestern University in Georgetown.
Raise.me also has the financial backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Facebook and the University of Pennsylvania.
Raise.me is not only for students. There is a special section on for educators, high school counselors and parents as well; classroom lessons, letters, announcements, and other how-to publications make it easier, not only to procure scholarships, but to keep students on track in getting to college. Additionally, it not only helps students, teachers, and parents, but it allows colleges to see the possible candidates considering attendance at their institution.
The three founders, Preston Silverman, George Kirkland, and Dave Schuman are proud of their efforts in the growth of Raise.me, and their efforts in bridging the gap between low-income students and more affluent students.
By Carol Morgan