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SMC Launches "Micro-Scholarship" Program to Aid Transfer Students
By Jorge Casuso
April 23, 2019 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) students can start adding to their scholarship fund as early as their first semester under a new program announced by school officials last week.
The new RaiseMe Micro-scholarship Program allows students to begin earning scholarships directly from the four-year institution they plan to transfer to, officials said.
The program -- which is a pilot for Southern California -- is being launched in partnership with Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a top SMC transfer destination.
"The RaiseMe platform compliments our efforts so it just made sense for SMC to help pilot the program in Southern California,” said Dr. Janet Robinson, SMC Transfer Center faculty leader.
“The number of RaiseMe partners offering micro-scholarships to community college students will continue to grow over time, so we're excited for what the partnership will mean for SMC students.”
Participating students are rewarded with incremental “micro-scholarships” for their strong academic performance, involvement in extracurricular activities and other achievements, officials said.
Students, for example, earn $125 for each “A” earned in a 100-level course, $100 for each leadership position in an activity (up to $200 per year) and $200 for being a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
The money a student accrues "represents a guaranteed minimum of financial aid that they would receive upon applying and being accepted to a participating school."
They program also offers students a preview of the financial aid available at participating four-year colleges, officials said.
LMU was a logical choice for a partner, officials said.
SMC is just several miles north of LMU and transfers more students to the university than any other California community college.
LMU was also one of the first four-year universities to offer RaiseMe micro-scholarships when the program was expanded to community college students early lasy year.
The number of students who have joined the program has been growing, with more than 1,000 community college students currently participating, SMC officials said.
Arizona State University, Whittier College and Dominican University of California are among the four-year universities that have joined the program.
To sign up on RaiseMe for free, SMC students can visit www.raise.me/transfer.
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