RaiseMe Announces New College Partners Throughout Appalachia In New Local College Access Initiative

Appalachia Colleges Including University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, Wheeling Jesuit University and Emory & Henry College Lead Charge On New Initiative to Foster College-Going Culture in Appalachia Schools

In partnership with The University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, Wheeling Jesuit University, Tusculum College, Emory & Henry College, Campbellsville University, and Appalachia Bible College, college preparedness platform
RaiseMe today announced the launch of the Appalachia Access Initiative to expand college access for Appalachia’s high school students, many of which come from low-income backgrounds and may be the first in their family to attend college.  The initiative is a collaborative effort between the colleges and RaiseMe’s technology platform to reinforce a college-going culture within Appalachia’s high schools using early engagement and by providing greater transparency into the costs of college for high school students in Appalachia.


RaiseMe seeks to expand educational opportunities for high school students by rewarding them with “micro-scholarships” offered by partner colleges for individual academic, personal and extracurricular achievements. So far, 750,000 students from 1 in every 2 high schools across the country have joined the platform, earning over a cumulative $1 billion in micro-scholarships towards their college tuition.


The inclusion of new colleges across the Appalachian region on RaiseMe, including large public institutions like the University of Kentucky and West Virginia University that serve a large portion of their respective in-state undergraduate population, brings the total number of colleges offering micro-scholarships on RaiseMe to 250. Many of the micro-scholarship programs in this initiative are also uniquely designed to keep students on track to earn state-sponsored academic achievement scholarships, such as the West Virginia Promise Scholarship, the Tennessee Promise Scholarship, and the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship.


For some time, the Appalachian region has felt an economic impact from the gradual decline of the region’s coal mining industry.  As the nation and the world move into the post-industrial era, however, Appalachia’s colleges are joining forces to ensure that the next-generation workforce has the knowledge and skills to thrive in all 21st-century occupations. With newly launched programs on RaiseMe, many of Appalachia’s colleges have pledged their commitment to addressing college accessibility and ensuring that high school students in surrounding counties can pursue higher education, discover institutions that are a strong match for their skills and interests, and participate meaningfully in today’s evolving economy.


“We are excited about the impact of this partnership on high school completion and college readiness throughout the Appalachia Region and our growing student population on RaiseMe nationwide. As we selected the participating universities for the Appalachia Access Initiative, these partners stood out as mission-driven institutions dedicated to access, affordability, and student success,” said Jane Yu, Director of Partnerships at RaiseMe.


Through micro-scholarship programs on RaiseMe, students in Appalachia’s high schools can now earn scholarship dollars towards their college tuition for incremental achievements ranging from taking challenging courses such as dual-enrollment courses in local community college, to taking on leadership roles in extracurricular activities and contributing to family responsibilities like caring for younger siblings or taking on after-school jobs. Micro-scholarship awards are incremental and cumulative, typically range from $100 to $3,000 per achievement, and are awarded directly by colleges once student apply and are admitted to their institutions. On RaiseMe, each college’s micro-scholarship programs are designed deliberately to encourage student behaviors that are proven to lead to greater academic success and college retention behavior.



“As a Land-Grant University, West Virginia University is fully committed to its mission of providing educational opportunities to the citizens of West Virginia and beyond. Our partnership with RaiseMe underscores that mission and provides a tangible means for students to take the necessary steps early in their high school careers to realize their dreams of attending college. West Virginia University is pleased to participate in such a noble endeavor and looks forward to a strong partnership with Raise.Me that will promote higher education for all students for many years to come.” – Stephen Lee, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, West Virginia University 


“As the Flagship institution for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky is honored and proud to be a partner with RaiseMe in our collaborative efforts to motivate and support high school students in achieving their academic and career goals through the micro-scholarship program. This program showcases to students the importance of working hard to achieve excellent grades in core courses that in turn provide the foundation for college success. In addition students are rewarded for contributing to their high schools, communities and families via leadership and service. The rich heritage of the Appalachian region is at the heart and mission for UK – and for this we are grateful and proud of our partnership with RaiseMe!”Don Witt, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Kentucky


“As the first college in Tennessee, Tusculum College is committed to providing strong educational opportunities for all students, but particularly those from Appalachia. I feel that partnering with RaiseMe allows us to stress the importance of pursuing academic excellence and increasing civic involvement to students, as early as their freshman year. While I hope these students will choose Tusculum for their higher education, I am more enthused that we can be a part in developing a greater educational vision.” – Dr. Paul Pinckley, Vice-President for Enrollment Management & Marketing, Tusculum College


“Emory & Henry has always been aware of our institution’s capacity to effect positive social and economic progress in our neighboring communities. Our partnership with RaiseMe underscores our commitment to encouraging students throughout Appalachia to persist throughout high school, contribute to their communities, and realize that a college education is within reach. Through RaiseMe, students can now earn incremental scholarships from Emory & Henry for strong academic performance and service to their community, starting in the 9th grade. This new partnership complements many of our existing institutional programs dedicated to driving positive change through higher education and establishing deeper connections to our neighboring community.” – Dr. Jake Schrum, President, Emory & Henry College


“Wheeling Jesuit University was founded to educate the young women and men of Appalachia for lives of leadership and service. RaiseMe’s innovative business model ensures that high school students from this region and beyond recognize that a high-quality, private education is within their reach right here in West Virginia.” Dr. Deborah Townsley, President, Wheeling Jesuit University


“As our very name indicates, Appalachian Bible College is intent on serving West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. ABC is honored to participate in RaiseMe’s effort to impact our area and increase students’ opportunity to receive quality education. It has been rewarding to enter into the preparations with the staff at RaiseMe; I am grateful for the resources they have been able to gather in order to facilitate this program.” Dr. Daniel L. Anderson, President, Appalachian Bible College


“Campbellsville University is thrilled to be a part of the Appalachian Access Initiative in partnership with Raise Me.  Raise Me is a premier organization focused on engaging students who will benefit from ongoing encouragement and support in reaching their academic potential.  Campbellsville University has a long 111-year history of educating and preparing servant leaders from Kentucky and around the world.  We believe the Raise Me micro-scholarship program will make college access more readily available and achievable for high school students from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  We could not be more excited to begin this partnership.” Dr. Michael Carter, President, Campbellsville University


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 250 colleges and universities, including Arizona State University, Oberlin College, University of Rochester, Northeastern, Tulane and Georgia Tech.

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

Cecilia is the Communications Manager for RaiseMe.