Harrison High School guidance counselor Amy Proctor, left, and HHS senior Olivia Perkins stand in front of a scholarship resource area at the school.

Harrison High School guidance counselor Amy Proctor, left, and HHS senior Olivia Perkins stand in front of a scholarship resource area at the school.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Good grades pay off

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published February 13, 2018

 Harrison High School guidance counselor Amy Proctor, left, and HHS senior Olivia Perkins meet at the scholarship resource area at the school. Olivia is interested in veterinary studies.

Harrison High School guidance counselor Amy Proctor, left, and HHS senior Olivia Perkins meet at the scholarship resource area at the school. Olivia is interested in veterinary studies.

Photo by Deb Jacques

FARMINGTON HILLS — Students can now financially reap the benefits of getting good grades in school without always having to have their parents slip them a fiver when their report card comes back with A’s and B’s. 

RaiseMe is helping students help themselves by rewarding them with microscholarships of between $25 and $1,000 for getting grades higher than a C and for participating in sports, according to raise.me.

The national program was introduced in the fall of 2014 through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, according to raise.me.

Locally, Harrison High School is participating.

The program allows students the opportunity to earn scholarships from over 250 colleges starting in ninth grade.

A student who receives an A in a course could qualify for between $100 and $1,000 at participating colleges; a student who receives a B in a course could qualify for $50-$600. Students who join a school club or sport could earn $25-$250.

Students are also encouraged to participate in community service activities and extracurricular activities, and to add other achievements to their RaiseMe portfolio to earn microscholarships from colleges, according to the website.

Harrison High School guidance counselor Amy Proctor said that the scholarship program came to Harrison last October.

She said that colleges use RaiseMe to break down their merit-based financial aid awards into incremental "micro-scholarships" that students receive for their individual achievements starting in ninth grade and progressing throughout high school. Students can redeem the micro-scholarship funds once they apply, are accepted and eventually commit to attending the school, Cecilia Xia, Communications Manager at RaiseMe explained.

Proctor said that HHS’ college partnerships include Wayne State University, Lawrence Technological University and Madonna University.

“The state of Michigan is a small number right now,” she said of participating schools, adding that the biggest participants are the aforementioned colleges.

According to a press release from Wayne State University, prospective students could earn scholarships from the college ranging from $150 to $3,000, based on their progress and their accomplishments throughout high school. 

Eligible students could also earn money by having a grade-point average above a 3.5, completing an Advanced Placement course, visiting WSU’s campus and more.

“Making an early connection allows Wayne State to develop a meaningful relationship with prospective students to celebrate and reward their successes,” Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said in the release. “This program lets us play a role in supporting the student’s development as they start thinking about college.”

RaiseMe, according to the release, is supporting students in one out of every two high schools in all 50 states to learn about new colleges and earn scholarships at the over 200 college institutions. Forty percent are low income, and 35 percent would be the first in their family to attend college, the release says.

The release also states that nearly 3,000 students, including many within Detroit Public Schools, have already matched up with WSU and have begun earning scholarships through the RaiseMe program.

HHS senior Olivia Perkins has earned some microscholarships from Wayne State University; she’s interested in becoming a veterinarian. Her father learned of the program over the summer, and she signed up for it before it came to Harrison.

“I was really interested in it,” she said, adding that the program is “really motivating.” 

“I know there are some scholarships that are interested in kids that are going into STEM programs,” she said, referring to science, technology, engineering and math fields. She is looking at a college in Cleveland, Ohio.

Proctor said that if a student earns microscholarships but decides to go to another school, the funds don’t travel with the student.

“Hopefully, other state schools will join the college partners,” she said.

For more information or to create an account for a student, go to www.raise.me.