Raise.me; Scam or Scholarship?

Tribe time; not necessarily the highest, or most mentally strenuous part of any student’s schedule. I settle deep into the most comfortable section of my plastic chair, prepared to slowly become so disinterested that I fall asleep. However on this day something new had been brought to the monotony of this mindless thirty-two minutes. The board read “Raise.Me”. The neon blue and the white lettering drew my attention, but less than the message of the newest eye-glazing powerpoint.

This new company shaded in skepticism has the mission of ensuring micro-scholarships to students who: get A’s, have a job, are involved in school clubs, play sports, volunteer, etc. etc. The site reads “Earn up to $1,000 for each A in any course,”.

“It seemed too good to be true.” Theatre Director Mr. Andy Reynolds said. The site advertises up to 250 colleges partnering with this elusive site.

So, is this website a middleman or a non-profit company? The answer is not clear on either of these questions. To add fuel to the fire the ways that the company has advertised this scholarship hub has not necessarily been the most honest.

For example, the site has in bold letters “…with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation…” as if it is the brainchild of the famous billionaire when in reality this website simply won a competition through a submitted application. The Gates in return had almost no choice whether or not to fund this company.

Another possible flaw is that this website is adding more pressure to the already stressed students of high schools all over The United States. Raise.me only partners with approximately 250 colleges or universities when there are more than 5,300 in the United States alone. “I just applied, I think it’s a good idea,” said Freshman Brisa White. “However, it seems like most scholarships are not available to the schools I most want to go to.” Of course, the more popular and well-attended universities are listed, but why would you want to narrow your options down?

College tuition are outrageously exorbanant.. These public and private institutions are already draining our bank accounts and generating insurmountable student debt, but why let these institutions dominate the already pressured life of teenagers? This online website is more of an oversized advertisement than it is a scholarship helpline. Name dropping universities and offering scholarships that are most likely deducted from the scholarships you were already going to gain in the first place is hardly helping the community. It’s misdirecting them.

In total, Raise.me may not have the best intentions in store for the graduating senior. However, if it at least helps one student to get to college, it would be worth all of this controversy, because in the end free money is free money.