Raise.me, a startup that helps students receive financial aid and scholarships throughout high school, has raised $12 million in venture funding to expand the service around the country.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the venture capital round was led by new investor Redpoint Ventures and also includes previous investors Owl Ventures, First Round Capital and SJF Ventures. Raise.me, which created a platform that enables students to earn scholarships for doing things like getting good grades, volunteering or joining an extracurricular activity, makes money from the colleges that pay for its services.
Raise.me Founder Preston Silverman told TechCrunch that colleges are willing to pay for the service. “[Colleges] are already awarding over $50 billion in aid and spending billions more on marketing and outreach, and we’re giving them a much more effective way to allocate their aid resources,” said Silverman in the report.
According to Raise.me, colleges have awarded scholarships to 650,000 high school students in each state in the U.S. What’s more, the company says 19,000 counselors in about half of the country’s high schools use the scholarship service to get students admitted to more than 225 schools.
With the service, students don’t choose which school to get aid from as they go through high school, rather the schools provide the aid for good grades or academic achievements. Students can expect to receive $20,000 on average to go toward college, noted the report.
According to TechCrunch since Raise.me was founded in 2012, it has aided colleges in giving out close to $1 billion in financial aid. “That’s … something that’s top of mind for millions of students and families today … particularly with what we’re seeing with student loan debt,” Silverman said of the college versus code school debate. “A college education is more important than ever. College degree earners are two times as likely not to be unemployed … and as the economy is getting more and more sophisticated, we believe that students and families need more education, not less … there’s a really important place for it in society today.”