Families should always be on the lookout for money or discounts to help pay for college. This is where Raise.me comes in.
Raise.me is a website that allows students from 9-12 grade to enter grades, courses, test scores, activities, extracurricular activities, and accomplishments that can be considered grounds for awarding merit scholarships.
Achievements can include good grades, club participation, sports involvement, volunteering, AP, honors and community college courses.
Merit scholarships are basically discounts off the price of the college tuition. There are 285 colleges who have partnered with Raise.me and each one gives different values to achievements such as an A or taking an AP class. The “award” values start at $100 and can go up to $1,000.
Starting in 9th grade, students can create a Raise.me account and start keeping track of their achievements. Students can choose specific schools to follow, such as Loyola Marymount or New York University and have a running tally of how much merit aid would be offered by the school.
How does it work?
Students start an account and start listing achievements by grade year. These achievements are put into a Portfolio. Then students can choose to follow colleges to see what their achievements would bring them in terms of merit aid. Each college has its own criteria.
Student information is self-reported, and is expected to be accurate. When a student applies to and is accepted by a college, that college will verify the information. If a student’s self-reported information is found to be false, they will lose all of their micro-scholarships, so it is very important that students be accurate.
Some colleges have a set deadline for earning micro-scholarships. A student must start “following” a specific school before the deadline to be eligible. If the student is admitted to the college, the scholarship “earnings” will be automatically included in the schools financial aid package. The scholarships earned represent a guaranteed minimum amount of scholarship or grant aid. Should a student win a larger college or scholarship or grant, that will replace the Raise.me amount. For instance on Raise.me the student is eligible for $10,000 a year in Raise.me, but is given a $20,000 grant, then the student will only receive the $20,000 grant.
Deadlines for following a college range from August to March of Senior year, so it would be wise to follow as many schools as the student might be interested in. HOWEVER, you will get onto mailing lists, so get ready for the onslaught of mail. It is worth it.
Raise.me is free
Students can start entering achievements as early as 9th grade
The micro-scholarships represent a guaranteed minimum scholarship or grant amount for participating colleges
It is easy to sign up. Create an account, add achievements from your transcript and activities. Students must have 15 credits worth of grades to qualify.
There are numerous other colleges listed on the site which is useful for research, and students can follow a college in hopes that it will participate in the micro-scholarships program
For example, participating schools include: Loyola Marymount, Lewis & Clark, NYU, U. of Redlands, Tulane University, University of San Diego, and Arizona State University.
Raise.me will automatically submit the Portfolios for seniors to colleges that they are following
·Students must “follow” a school before the deadline and should start a portfolio in Junior year to receive the guarantee. (Seniors check the deadlines for availability)
Each college has a minimum GPA for eligibility
Many schools, such as the UC and CSU schools do not participate. Also, most very highly selective schools do not award merit aid. Non-participating schools as of Sept. 2019, include: University of San Francisco, Pepperdine, all UC and CSU
You are likely to receive mail and additional information from all of the schools that you are following, but then your mailbox and email in-box are going to be stuffed anyway.
University of San Diego, Deadline Dec. 1, application deadline Dec. 15, Minimum GPA 3.8
Lewis & Clark, Deadline Feb. 1, Apply Jan 15, Minimum GPA 3.3
LMU, Deadline Jan. 15, Apply Jan 15, Min. GPA 3.0
NYU, Deadline Dec. 1, Apply Jan 1, Min GPA 3.4
ASU, Deadline Sept. 1, Apply Feb. 1, Min GPA 2.75
NOTE: This is an optional program. Students who do not participate may still receive merit scholarships from the schools they are accepted by.
Students, families, parents, get smart about signing up for programs that can help reduce the cost of college. If you end up getting extra mail, at least this is a legitimate program!
Free Financial Aid Basics Seminar Oct. 3, 2019, 6:30 pm Julian Dixon Library
Limited space, RSVP to GetSmartforCollege@gmail.com