Here at the Student Loan Sherpa, we often say that the best student loan is none at all. A new startup is helping thousands of high school students find scholarships to make school much more affordable.
Raise.me is a website that connects students with about colleges and enables them to earn micro-scholarships as they progress through school. The way it works is pretty simple. Suppose you get an A in biology. That A may be worth $150 at one school, but worth $400 at another. Students can create a portfolio where they track their academic and extracurricular achievements. As they accumulate achievements, they can follow colleges to see the actual scholarship value at each school. Should they ultimately enroll in one of those schools, the scholarships earned on Raise.me represent the minimum scholarship award that the student gets at that school.
Is Raise.me legitimate?
The whole program sounds really cool, but the obvious question is, where is this money going to come from?
Raise.me has some serious financial backing from highly reputable sources. For starters, each of the 140 participating schools is putting up cash to cover some of the scholarship costs. They also have financial backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook charities.
How much money can I earn on Rasie.me?
The only limit on scholarship earnings is your individual achievements. CNN Money profiled a student who earned over $80,000 towards his education.
Is Raise.me worth my time?
The answer is probably yes. Any scholarship money, including mico-scholarhsip amounts, is worth the effort. At worst, you have wasted some time.
Suppose you end up going to a school that does not participate in Raise.me and therefore get $0 for all of your efforts. While that would be a bummer, it also means that you are participating in a program that encourages academic and extracurricular achievement. It means setting goals and working towards accomplishing them.
Even if that A in Biology never ends up leading to a scholarship, a good grade is still an excellent reward.
The Concern with Raise.me
One of this site’s readers noted that they had trouble actually securing the scholarships that their child earned.
Others have noted that raise.me is the minimum scholarship that a student gets at a particular school. It is not a scholarship in addition to the aid offered by the school.
Is it too late to sign up for Raise.me?
If you are working on paying off a student loan and wishing you had raise.me when you were in high school, yes… it is too late. However, even if you are already a junior or a senior in high school, you can still get credit for your accomplishments dating back to your freshman year.
Raise.me is an exciting and innovative way to reward success at the high school level and to save money at the college level. If you or someone you know has college in their future, spending some time at Raise.me is a great idea.