The University of Iowa announced March 2 that it has partnered with the Raise.me scholarship platform on a statewide pilot project to encourage and improve college readiness among Iowa high school students.
Using Raise.me, high school students from select school districts in each of Iowa’s 99 counties will be eligible to earn up to $1,200 in “micro-scholarships” to attend the UI by meeting certain criteria, such as achieving an A or a B grade in select math classes or being involved in arts, athletics, or other extracurricular programs.
The goal of the program is to encourage students to take rigorous courses and get involved in school activities, all while saving for future college expenses.
“Even if they ultimately decide not to attend the University of Iowa, participating students will be better prepared for success at any post-secondary institution,” says Brent Gage, UI associate vice president for enrollment management.
The high schools selected for the four-year pilot project are from the district in each county with the highest free and reduced lunch percentage, based on 2015–16 data from the Iowa Department of Education.
“It is our hope that these micro-scholarships make a difference in student behavior and that after an evaluation period with feedback from schools and counselors we can expand the program statewide,” says Gage.
Building on the UI’s strong partnership with the state’s 15 community colleges, students who attend an Iowa community college and earn an associate’s degree can then transfer to the UI and still use the full amount of their Raise.me scholarship.
The micro-scholarship platform is a partnership between the UI and Raise.me, with the support of Facebook and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The platform gives students instant feedback on their accomplishments, helping to motivate them and provide them with the preparation they need to meet college admission guidelines.