As the cost of college continues to increase, students and their families have had to seek out and find creative ways to cover all of the expenses.
Abby Saxastar was one of those students. But in order to cover her tuition at Stetson University, a private college in central Florida, Saxastar got some help from a new startup, Raise.me.
Raise.me is a platform that connects students with various colleges and helps them earn scholarship money based on their high school achievements. Students can sign up for the platform and then connect with various colleges to earn money based on their achievements. They are only actually awarded the money if and when they’re accepted to a school. The platform currently has 76 college partners, but hopes to raise that number to 100 within the year.
Co-founder Preston Silverman told CNN, “Most scholarships today are awarded at the very end of high school. It’s too late to influence a student’s college search and application process.”
That’s what makes Raise.me’s offering different. The concept of seeking out scholarships for college certainly isn’t a new one. Students have plenty of different online platforms that they can use to find and apply for such scholarships.
But Raise.me gets the actual colleges involved and gives students a set system for raising money to go to the school(s) of their choice. It’s a system that’s beneficial both for the students and the schools, since they can potentially secure more new students early in the process.
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And for students like Saxastar, it just makes the whole process of finding and paying for school that much easier. Finding private scholarships can be exhausting, especially for those already busy with school work and extracurricular activities. And if you don’t have another way to pay for school, earning scholarship money early can be absolutely crucial to the decision making process.
Saxastar told CNN, “I’ve always been very successful in school and I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work. But I still had to figure out how to pay for college.”
This is just another example of a startup that didn’t completely invent a new product or service, but improved an existing concept enough to really stand out and help solve a problem.