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RaiseMe Expands College Access Platform With New Highly Selective Members Including UChicago, Penn

RaiseMe Expands College Access Platform With New Highly Selective Members Including UChicago, Penn

UChicago, Penn, WashU, Grinnell, and Harvey Mudd Join RaiseMe’s Movement To Expand College Access and Financial Aid Transparency Through Innovative Micro-Scholarship Platform

May 5, 2017 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA –  RaiseMe, a college access platform that aims to expand college opportunities for students of all backgrounds, today announced a new cohort of highly selective colleges joining its movement to help students of all backgrounds prepare for college. This group, which includes University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis, Harvey Mudd College and Grinnell College, joins a growing community of institutions across the country that are awarding college scholarships to students through RaiseMe’s platform.

Already, 700,000 students in 1 of every 2 high schools across the country have used RaiseMe to earn micro-scholarships for college. By signing onto RaiseMe, students at high schools across the country can earn incremental scholarship awards, called “micro-scholarships” for achievements that are preparing them best to succeed in college, like earning good grades and participating in extracurriculars.

In a commitment to increase motivation and transparency around the college admissions process for traditionally under-resourced students, UChicago, Penn, WashU, Harvey Mudd, and Grinnell will offer their micro-scholarship program on RaiseMe to low-income high school students across the country. This expansion of RaiseMe’s college partner network to new highly selective institutions comes at a time when colleges across the nation are working to be more inclusive of students who are low-income or the first in their families to attend college.  At the same time, a majority of RaiseMe’s other college partners offer micro-scholarships broadly to all high school students.

The University of Pennsylvania, for instance, selectively considers partnerships with organizations that share a common mission of providing educational opportunities to talented students who may believe that a college education is beyond their reach, particularly for financial reasons. Starting with a recently launched MOOC on the Coursera platform, How to Apply to College, Penn, Steppingstone Scholars and RaiseMe collaborated to incentivize students to receive important counseling advice on the college process by completing the free, online course.

Now, Penn and RaiseMe are partnering to motivate and incentivize students in Philadelphia to engage in actions that can serve as building blocks for success to attain a college degree. “A partnership with RaiseMe will help close the college-going information gap on the academic, social and financial barriers which many students in Philadelphia face on a daily basis,” said Eric J. Furda, Penn’s dean of admissions. “The partnership will further strengthen Penn’s outreach into the high schools in our backyard while promoting Penn’s generous need-based, grant-based financial-aid policies.”

Students that have used RaiseMe to discover and apply for college have already shown greater student outcomes in college than would traditionally be expected. As RaiseMe continues to gain ground among high school students and college partners, data demonstrates that RaiseMe users have exhibited greater preparedness for college, and improved academic success after matriculation.

“Our first cohort of RaiseMe students had a slightly higher GPA than the average first year students and a nearly 95% first year retention rate,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Education at Pennsylvania State University, which has partnered with RaiseMe since 2014.

RaiseMe’s scholarships, which students can earn starting in 9th grade, typically range from $100 to $3,000 in value, and are redeemed when a student is admitted by a partner college. To-date, RaiseMe has helped students earn a cumulative $1 billion in micro-scholarships from colleges. The average RaiseMe user receives $20,000 from partner colleges that can be applied towards college costs.

“The fact that only 23% of high achieving, low income students even apply to highly selective institutions is a huge impediment to economic equality and social mobility in our country,” said George Kirkland, RaiseMe’s Co-Founder and Vice President. “RaiseMe’s college partners see micro-scholarships as a way to remove perceived financial barriers and show students a path to college that they can pursue with confidence.”



“The University of Chicago is committed to ensuring access and opportunity for students from all areas of the world and all socioeconomic backgrounds. We are pleased to partner with programs like RaiseMe—an innovative idea that empowers students by recognizing their academic and extracurricular achievements—as part of that mission.  Our partnership with RaiseMe is one more way UChicago strives to remove the barriers to college attainment and student success.” – Jim Nondorf, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Advancement, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, University of Chicago

“Grinnell’s participation in RaiseMe is a direct reflection of our institutional commitments to academic excellence, diversity, and social responsibility. Among elite national liberal arts colleges committed to financial access, Grinnell achieves the gold standard by awarding significant financial aid to a high percentage of enrolled students. A partnership with RaiseMe was an obvious way to communicate Grinnell’s commitment to hard-working students who may otherwise incorrectly conclude that admission and financial access to a top-tier college is unattainable. Grinnell still awards financial aid and scholarships to those who need it and those who earn it.” Joseph Bagnoli, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Grinnell College

RaiseMe helps Washington University achieve one of its most important priorities — to expand opportunities for talented first-generation and low-income students.  We are excited to provide a tool that both motivates students to work hard and educates them about the college application process while expanding their academic reach and making WashU and the partner institutions accessible to them.” Ronné Patrick Turner, Vice Provost for Admission & Aid, Washington University in St. Louis


About RaiseMe:

RaiseMe launched nationally in the fall of 2014 as a social enterprise focused on expanding access to higher education, especially among low-income and first-generation students and has helped students earn $1 billion in scholarships for college.  Starting as early as 9th grade, RaiseMe enables students to earn scholarships throughout high school as they meet the goals that best prepare them to succeed. Whether that’s getting good grades, volunteering in the community, or joining an extracurricular, on RaiseMe students are rewarded by colleges for being motivated, driven and committed to success. Students at 1 out of 2 high schools across America have signed up to earn micro-scholarships from a diverse set of over 225 colleges and universities, including Arizona State University, Oberlin College, University of Rochester, Northeastern, Tulane and Georgia Tech.

Learn more: http://www.raise.me.


Cecilia Xia

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