At Virginia high schools where more than half of the student body is enrolled in free or reduced lunch, a new type of financial aid called a micro-scholarship is now available.
Students at these schools who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a 3.2 or higher GPA, $3000 per year can be earned toward college, starting with the freshman year in high school. Money is given in small increments throughout the high school years for things like good grades, community service, leadership roles, honors, and more. A 3.2 GPA must be maintained, and the student must fill out the FAFSA when applying to college.
What is RaiseMe?
RaiseMe is a free platform that helps students in 9th-12th grades earn micro-scholarships for academic and extracurricular achievements. When students add achievements (such as good grades, extracurricular activities and sports, and perfect attendance) to their RaiseMe portfolio, they could be eligible to earn micro-scholarships to Virginia Tech or RaiseMe's other partner colleges.
How do I earn?
Eligible students can earn micro-scholarships to Virginia Tech for achievements such as:
- Earning good grades, maintaining a high GPA, or taking AP and Honors courses
- Perfect attendance
- Participating in extracurricular activities or sports
- Volunteering in the community
- Scoring well on the SAT or ACT
- Visiting the Virginia Tech campus, attending a college fair, or completing the FAFSA
- Holding a part-time job or internship
To receive these scholarships, students must apply, be admitted, and enroll at Virginia Tech. More at the Virginia Tech RaiseMe page.
Am I eligible?
As part of our commitment to college access, the Virginia Tech RaiseMe program is only open to students residing in Virginia who attend a Virginia high school where 50+% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.2 to be eligible. Students must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 and demonstrate eligibility for need-based aid.
When and how do I receive my earnings?
You must follow Virginia Tech on RaiseMe, have a complete portfolio, and apply to Virginia Tech by January 15. Only achievements added to your portfolio by our earning deadline - December 1 of your senior year - will be included in your scholarship. You must complete the FAFSA and scholarship application by December 1 and demonstrate eligibility for need-based aid. Earnings represent the minimum guaranteed aid you will receive if you are admitted to and enroll at Virginia Tech. Once admitted, your micro-scholarship earnings will automatically be included in your financial aid package.
Does this affect my total financial aid package?
Your micro-scholarships represent a minimum amount of scholarship and grant aid you will receive from Virginia Tech if you apply, are admitted, and enroll. You may be eligible for more aid based on your formal application for admission and financial aid forms. If you receive a higher amount of scholarship and grant aid in your comprehensive award letter from Virginia Tech, note that this includes the amount you earned on RaiseMe and is not in addition to your earnings on RaiseMe.
Is this money renewable? Meaning, is it just for my freshman year?
RaiseMe money is renewable for four years.
Funded by Virginia Tech, the RaiseMe Grant provides financial assistance to full-time undergraduate students. This grant is renewable for up to 3 years if students maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), maintain full-time enrollment, and Satisfactory Academic Progress. The student must also complete 30 credits per academic year. Changes to your FAFSA calculated expected family contribution in future aid years could affect the amount of this grant and, in some cases, might result in cancellation. Additionally, this grant will be cancelled if you do not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Changes in funding may cause VT to replace this grant with another award for the same amount.