Raise.me is a website where students are awarded microscholarships for incremental achievements such as getting a good grade in a class or participating in an EC or sport. I thought I'd kick the tires and tell you what I found.
I filled out two years worth of info for my S to get an idea of how the site works and what kind of money we'd be looking at.
How it works: Colleges set certain amounts for things like getting an A (or a B) in a class, taking an AP class, getting a certain score on a standardized test, doing ECs or volunteer hours, etc. You fill out a profile listing what classes you've taken, your SAT score, your ECs, etc. Then you click-to-follow the colleges you're interested in. When you do, you're shown a tally for each school based on the data you entered.
The amounts are not the same at each school. One school might offer $400 for every A and $300 for every B, while another gives $200 for As and nothing for Bs.
I used S's real data for his freshman year, then best guess data for his sophomore year. At the mo, he's got a 3.9uw/4.5 weighted GPA, some APs and dual-enrollment classes, around 80 volunteer hours and a couple of ECs, including one leadership position.
I didn't select every school, just the ones that had some potential interest for us. All numbers are 4-year totals, so mentally divide by 4 for an annual amount.
Here are the results:
Denison - $32,730 ($8,183/yr, frex)
Lawrence - $27,140
Southwestern - $25,690
Tulane - $12,050
Michigan State - $12,040
Oberlin - $8,090
Texas Tech - $2,840
My guess is that these numbers would roughly double once you input 4 years of HS data, though I'd also guess that some of the schools will have a cap for the maximum they'll award.
You can rank the participating colleges by how much they'll offer, so I clicked the #1 and #2 schools just to see what the numbers were.
Wingate U - $60,750
Stetson U - $43,455
Here's my take: for a high-need family, I'm not sure you'd end up with anything from Raise.me that you wouldn't have gotten through a regular, need-based application. In our case, none of these amounts were better than our results from the schools' various net price calculators. For a middle income/doughnut hole family, though, or a full freight family at a school where merit aid is unlikely, and where knocking 10k/yr or more off tuition would really come in handy? Seems like it might be a good deal.
I'll continue to enter S's info, but I won't be counting on this to save our bacon where aid is concerned.
If you read the fine print, Raise.me says participating schools have guaranteed that if you select them by the deadline listed on the site, are accepted and enroll, that the school will award you financial aid that at least equals the amount shown in your profile for that school. There is no guarantee that the award will stack with anything else you may have, though. The schools also reserve the right to verify whatever accomplishments you claimed to earn each microscholarship.
The site's url is raise.me.