Raise.me – Scholarships or Sham???

By on Aug 24, 2017 in Blog, Newest Article |

Raise.me – Scholarships or Sham???

Raise.me sounds great!  Who doesn’t want to be rewarded for their efforts?  The idea of getting “micro-scholarships” for getting good grades, etc. sounds ideal.  A little too ideal, perhaps.  Let’s take a look…

Raise.me was founded in 2012.  It’s a site where students can create a profile and enter in their achievements.  Participating colleges (there are over 200 so far) promise students micro-scholarships based on their achievements (getting an A in a class, for example) starting in the 9th grade.  Of course, the students must be accepted at a given school in order to “receive” the micro-scholarships based on his or her raise.meaccount.

On the one hand, students are encouraged to do well throughout their high school careers by receiving the promise of awards.  Hopefully, this will encourage students to excel in their studies.  Students are rewarded for good grades, community service, working, taking tests (PSAT, ACT, AP, SAT, etc.), and extracurricular activities. On the other, the pressure of looming college applications is now obvious to students at an earlier age.  Some argue that this program puts too much pressure on younger students who should be exploring, etc.  However, by freshman year in college, I believe students should be maturing and developing a strong sense of cause and effect and the impact that their choices of today make on the opportunities, or lack thereof, of tomorrow.

Colleges pay a fee to participate. Apparently, Raise.me is a mechanism they can use to attract students.  Colleges set the value of the various rewards, or micro-scholarships they offer, so have a way to attract the attention of students and compete with other colleges for their attention.  After all, who doesn’t think well of a school after seeing the message pop up that says, “Great job!  $500 from XYZ University for you!”

I am unable to find any information regarding how the scholarships relate to the overall financial aid package.  Based on my experience as a college consultant, I am skeptical that students with Raise.me accounts are receiving any more aid than they would have if they had not had an account.

So, the information regarding Raise.Me is inconclusive.  it might be a helpful tool to encourage a student, but will it have any real impact on the student’s net cost at any colleges?

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