Potential Whitties can secure scholarship dollars as early as ninth grade, thanks to a new partnership with RaiseMe. The platform converts high school accomplishments such as good grades and community service into "micro-scholarships" that partner institutions like Whitman include in merit awards for enrolling students.
"One of the best things about RaiseMe is that students can see what scholarships they are eligible for before they even submit an application to Whitman," said Financial Aid Counselor Karri Mickelson. "It also shows students that we value things like academic achievement, taking rigorous courses and taking on leadership roles in their communities and schools."
High school students create RaiseMe profiles and follow participating colleges, each of which sets its own credit thresholds for achievements such as earning a high GPA or taking an Advanced Placement course. Colleges also specify the maximum amount that students can earn, distributed evenly across four years. RaiseMe scholarships are guaranteed, provided students meet eligibility requirements.
The partnership enables Whitman to reach out to students earlier in the college search process, according to Senior Associate Director of Admission Shalini Uppu, and "let them know that the great work they're already doing in high school could earn them scholarships at Whitman. It's always a win when students start to think about college earlier on. Plus, students get very excited when they see their earnings add up in real time."
The financial aspect of the college search process can be a source of worry or confusion for families, added Mickelson. "I hope that our partnership with RaiseMe will help start the conversation about scholarships and financial aid sooner and encourage students to apply to Whitman, knowing that we strive to make it affordable."