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  • Writer's pictureAllison Styffe

Spotlights: Rams (or is it Aggies?), micro-scholarships, and a career to smile about

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

COLLEGE: Colorado State University

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Tuition: $18,369 (WUE)*

Size: Large (26,500 students)

Colorado State University (CSU) is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorado — a city with a very similar feel to Bend, the Central Oregon town known for its micro-breweries, dog-friendly downtown, and endless outdoor recreation. Less than an hour from Denver and Boulder, and a few hours from world-class ski towns like Vail and Breckenridge, the adventure opportunities just outside of this large college town abound.

The college offers more than 150 degrees in eight colleges, with graduate programs in the schools of business, engineering and education and the renowned College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. CSU is considered one of the leading research universities, and faculty and students work together to explore fields such as atmospheric science, infectious diseases, clean energy technologies and environmental science.

*One of the coolest things about CSU? It's a WUE school! This means that, as an Oregonian, you could save nearly $10,000 each year on out-of-state tuition. Learn more here.

Outside the classroom and research lab, students can get involved with the more than 350 campus organizations, including about 35 fraternities and sororities. Student athletes can find sports at the recreational, club and varsity level, with the CSU mascot and colors reflecting the school's past. CSU began as an agricultural school, so the sports teams were called the Aggies and their colors were green and gold to represent farming. The school held onto the colors, but the more than 15 varsity sports teams are now called the Rams. They compete in the NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference.



Amount & deadline: Varies

Type: Micro-scholarships based on achievement

At students can start earning scholarship money at their future school starting their freshman year of high school. The program partners with colleges to offer students micro-scholarships based on their achievements and activities throughout high school. Simply create a portfolio on their website, and each time you achieve something new — like getting a job, joining a club, visiting a college campus, or earning an A in class — you can earn money toward your college education!

The idea of micro-scholarships is a bit new, so if you're thinking, "Huh?" or "Sounds too easy!" we get it. Here's a bit more on how it works:

A micro-scholarship is an amount of money that students are eligible to earn based on individual achievements throughout 9th-12th grade. They are awarded by colleges and universities who partner with RaiseMe, and each college or university creates their own program of micro-scholarship. 

The amount earned via RaiseMe represents the minimum amount of institutional aid that the college will award you if you are accepted and enroll in their school. The college can always decide to award you more scholarships based on merit or need once they see your application for admission. 

Colleges decide what achievements they want to award and how much they will award to students who meet their eligibility requirements (which can be found on their College page). For example, one college might offer $50 for an A in Algebra, another might offer $300, and so on. Colleges can set maximums on earnings for students via RaiseMe. It could be $8,000 at one college, and $80,000 at another college. 


CAREER: Dental Hygienist

Median salary: $76,220

Education needed: Associate's degree

Job growth: 6% (Faster than average)

Smile — the job outlook for dental hygienists is on the rise!

Dental hygienists examine patients for signs of oral diseases and provide preventive care, including oral hygiene. These are the people who clean your teeth during your bi-annual appointment ('cause we all go every six months like we're supposed to, right?). This career might be a good fit if you find the art of removing plaque and polishing teeth fascinating; have critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills; and are detail oriented and highly dexterous.

To become a dental hygienist, you'll need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene which typically takes 3 years to complete. Program content includes laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction. Areas of study include anatomy, medical ethics, and periodontics. All states also require dental hygienists to be licensed.

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