Wayne State University has become the first school in the nation to offer a micro-scholarships program to ensure student success in degree completion.
Last week, the school announced the first-ever micro-scholarship-based student success initiative in collaboration with RaiseMe to promote college persistence and retention for current college students by addressing the core areas of needs that help them complete their degrees on time.
The new program offers incremental achievement-based scholarships ranging from $10 to $50. The financial incentives are applied toward tuition in the following academic year for participating in activities like completing a financial literacy module, attending professors’ office hours, attending a study skills workshop, and researching and joining campus organizations among others.
“Students begin college with new responsibilities and new expectations,” said Michelle Bruner, senior director of student academic success and retention at WSU. “Connecting smart behaviors to financial reward through micro-scholarships helps us emphasize to incoming students how they can meet those expectations.”
As a part of the program, in June, the school invited at least 500 incoming first-year students to earn micro-scholarships for participating in select pre-collegiate activities like completing the FAFSA, attending orientation, enrolling in a full 15-credit course load among others. These activities have proven to improve student success and a sense of belonging on campus.
“It’s exciting to be able to financially incentivize the things we know help our students be successful and move toward timely degree completion,” Provost Keith Whitfield said.
The university is planning to extend the program to other first-year and continuing students in the coming years.