Beginning with the 2020 academic year, Watkins will offer prospective students access to a new financial planning and college preparation resource through online college readiness platform RaiseMe. RaiseMe enables students in high school to earn micro-scholarships, or incremental, achievement-based merit scholarships directly from the college as they progress through their high school years.
These micro-scholarships reward activities and achievements prior to enrollment and “bank” a minimum guarantee in scholarship aid upon commitment to Watkins. (Students are still eligible for additional institutional scholarships and aid.) Examples of those activities and achievements that might earn a micro-scholarship include taking an advanced placement course, scoring more than a 25 on the ACT exam, completing a FAFSA, community service activities, and more.
The new RaiseMe offering for students is the latest development in Watkins’s ongoing commitment to improve scholastic readiness as well as access around financial aid for students.
“We are pleased to partner with RaiseMe,” says Alison Miyauchi, vice president for strategic enrollment management at Watkins. “Through this collaboration, students can log their activities and accomplishments and build up their scholarship offer. It’s a powerful way of making an incentive of excellence, a reward for perseverance, both of which have been at the very heart of Watkins from its very beginnings.”
Established in 1885, the mission of Watkins College of Art is to challenge individuals to develop their talent, refine their creative practice, and dedicate their lives to advancing culture through the illuminating power of art. The college boasts a high employment average of students who, upon graduating, work within the creative economy and their chosen profession (87 percent).
Indeed, throughout its 133 years, Watkins has been a pioneer in connecting individuals to their highest potential. Begun by Samuel Watkins with the goal of teaching the “business of life,” the college has mobilized to meet the needs of an ever-changing population, particularly those who may have struggled to gain their footholds, such as immigrants in the early 20th century, women as they joined the workforce in the 1930s and 40s, and servicemen upon their return from World War II.
Each of Watkins’s academic programs is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the only agency covering the entire field of art and design and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. NASAD represents the highest traditions and standards in the education of artists, designers, and filmmakers. Watkins is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a nonprofit consortium of 42 leading art schools in North America.
Over the past three years, Watkins—which offers a 73,000-square-foot artmaking facility; cutting-edge silo studios, film soundstages, and multidisciplinary spaces; as well as modern residential apartments, all within America’s “It” City—has undertaken an ambitious and award-winning effort to reimagine its reputation as one of the finest arts conservatories in the country.