Raise.me offers easy access to scholarships

Have an open mind and searching for easy scholarships to college? Well, check out Raise.me, a website where students can earn micro-scholarships to participating colleges based on individual achievements.

Such achievements include earning good grades in specific courses, participating in sports or other extracurricular activities, community service, good standardized test scores, attending events at participating colleges, as well as other various honors.

Any high school student, from 9th to 12th grade, is eligible for these scholarships. In order to receive credits for these scholarships, one has to create a portfolio on the Raise.me website and enter one’s courses, activities, community service, exam scores, and honors and awards, then follow a college on the website.

When a college awards a student scholarship money on Raise.me, the school is guaranteeing that it will include that scholarship money in the student’s financial aid package. One may be eligible for more aid based on one’s formal application for admission and financial aid forms.

Additionally, one must apply, get accepted and enroll in the college for the scholarships to count. There are also requirements during high school and college that are college-specific, which include maintaining a minimum GPA and taking a minimum number of classes.

Students may be able to earn a full scholarship through Raise.me to a college or university. According to a CNN.com article, one student raised $80,000 on Raise.me, which fully covered their tuition at Stetson University, a private college in central Florida.

So far there are 83 participating colleges including University of Rochester, Lewis & Clark, Michigan State, Temple, and University of Kansas. Despite several of the participating colleges having national recognition, most of the participating colleges are small liberal arts schools.

Due to the lack of a broad range of universities, this is an opportunity for smaller, lesser-known colleges to link up with students that would never have considered them otherwise.

Counselor Darren Johnston attended a counselor conference where he learned about this new website.

“It’s a new program so we haven’t quite seen firsthand all the pros and cons,” he says. “But, both Mr. Schatz and I like what we have seen and heard.”

However, most CHS faculty members have never heard of this website.

“It sounds almost too good to be true because it sounds so easy,” College and Career Center counselor Patricia Hunt says. “I have to learn a little more about this and, if it is good, I believe it should be required for students.”

When asked, students also give puzzled looks when asked about this website.

“I’ve never heard of it,” junior Trevor Kelly says, “but I think Raise.me sounds like a great idea.”

In order to do more research on the website, I myself entered in my portfolio and was able to get immediate results about how much money I have earned from certain colleges.

I looked at my results for the University of Rochester, the 33rd highest ranked college in the U.S. News college rankings, and highest ranked college partnered with Raise.me. All in all, I have about $20,000 toward the University of Rochester, basically $5,000 per year should I attend there.

Keep in mind, I do not have all of the scholarships that can be received through Raise.me for Rochester, and by taking advantage of all of the scholarships, a student could earn over $40,000 towards his tuition to this particular university.

Although Raise.me currently lacks a broad range of colleges, students still can use the website to earn easy scholarships to schools they would not otherwise have considered.

-Ryan Lin