University one of first to offer exclusive micro-scholarships

By Vanessa Miller, The Gazette
March 9th, 2016


University of Iowa has exclusive on new micro-scholarship offer for first year

The University of Iowa will be the state’s only public university this year to offer high school students “micro-scholarships” through a relatively new tech startup called

That stipulation was included in a contract UI signed with the San Francisco-based organization that incorporated as Raise Labs Inc. in 2013 — the same year it won prize money through an entrepreneurial challenge co-hosted by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook.

According to a contract UI signed with Raise Labs on Dec. 1, the institution would be granted “exclusivity among public institutions in the State of Iowa for one year.” Some of the thousands of Iowa high school students introduced to the micro-scholarship platform said they hope more of the state’s institutions participate — expanding their options for where they can use money they earn.

“It would be nice if other larger universities got involved with it too,” said Madison Barmore, 17, a junior at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids.

University of Northern Iowa Financial Aid and Scholarships Director Joyce Morrow told The Gazette the platform is “intriguing” and UNI is looking at future scholarship possibilities.

“Money is always an issue, and we are looking at the resources available to UNI in order to participate,” she said.

Next page: What leaders at other institutions are saying about the micro-scholarship program

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