Unbelievable! Colleges Will Pay You For Almost Everything You do!

Posted: March 16, 2015

Raise.Me is a new scholarship service that allows students to collect "micro-scholarships" from colleges across the country, all from one platform. Are you:
  • in the drama club? Cha-ching!
  • on the swim team? Cha-ching!
  • taking English, math and history? Cha-ching! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!
This is merit aid and free money, so you can earn it even if you're "not eligible for financial aid". I know it sounds too good to be true, but I've scoped it out with college financial aid offices and it's legit. The catch is that the amount you earn for each activity varies with the school, and not all schools participate. In order to collect on your micro-merit aid, you must apply to and attend the particular school. 

Which colleges are participating?
They run from Lawrence University in WI (one of the Colleges That Change Lives) to Tulane and Texas Tech. There are 31 colleges currently participating, with more who have begun the process to join.

How much are we talking?
I created a fictional profile to explore exactly how much a "typical" student could earn. He was offered:
  • $600 from the University of Dayton for a B in AP Lit & Comp
  • $14,000 from Michigan State for a 26 on the ACT (with a 3.0 GPA) and $2,965 from Temple
  • 15 scholarships, at various colleges, ranging from $25 to $150 per year for being in drama club
  • $250 for one year on the basketball team from Tulane
  • $1000 (total) for two campus visits to DePaul.
This can't be real!
Oh, but it can. And it is! But, as with all real things, there are some conditions. Raise.Me is only available to high school students, not current college students. You must meet a deadline for completing your Raise portfolio and possibly for applying to the school. You must maintain a certain specified grade point average and number of credits to continue to earn the money each year in college. Also any financial aid award you are offered includes your Raise.Me scholarships. As the website says,
You may be eligible for more aid based on your formal application for admission and financial aid forms. If you receive a higher amount of grant aid in your final award letter from XXX University, note that this includes the amount you earned on Raise and is not in addition to your earnings on Raise."
In financial aid speak, this means your Raise earnings are not stackable. Also, as with any financial aid offer, make sure to ask whether it will carry over to all four years or is only available for first-year's. Otherwise, go hit up Raise.Me. There's nothing better than free money for what you're doing anyway!

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