MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa -- Haydne Golden plans to spend a lot of time behind a keyboard after high school.
"I want to do computer science program for either Microsoft, YouTube or google."
He's a junior at Northeastern High School in York County.
Through one website, he has raised more then $3 million in scholarships for the college.
"It's awesome because I'm just being a kid and doing my work and I'm getting money towards college," said Golden.
So no, he hasn't earned $3.5 million for just one school.
Golden is interested in a lot of schools, that's why the total money he's earned so far is so high.
Golden did it by signing up for Raise.me.
It's a website that allows kids to earn money for college just by getting good grades, being part of a sport or club and volunteering.
It's known as a micro-scholarship, which is money students earn based on individual achievements.
Which is why Golden's accomplishments have landed him some good prospects.
"This one, Hartwick College, it's 80,000 total," said Golden.
When you get an A in a class, you can earn anywhere from $25 to $1,000 on the website, all depending on which school you're interested in.
Golden says, "Every couple of weeks when I could change my grades I would get more money from each colleges."
He is hoping to add a few thousand dollars to his earnings by the time he graduates.
Which will make it easier for him to pick a school that's a good fit.
"The next two years, this year and next year, my classes are really stacked with AP classes and that so that assures me that there's going to be more money coming later down the road."
Rachel Means is also a junior at Northeastern.
"Bloomfield college has given me $54,150. That's $13,000 a year," said Means.
Just like Golden, she is raking in the money.
Means said, "If you get any type of grade, A, B, C, you get something from it. You'd be surprised at how many colleges and how much money they're willing to offer to you."
Besides surprising herself by how much she has earned, her family is pretty excited too.
"They cannot believe it. Every time I enter a grade and get more money, they're like 'You got this from this college?!'"
Means says signing up on the website and entering her grades takes pretty much zero effort.
'I'm just doing my regularly scheduled day, going to school, doing my homework and turning in assignments. It's not adding anything extra."
There are about 25 other kids at Northeastern who are also trying to take advantage of the free money.
That's according to Eric Bierker, a school counselor at the school.
"Money is a motivator for all of us. Somebody attaches a dollar value to something, it's like a game show."
Bierker says since kids are able to see the money they can earn right away, instead of working for 4 years and finding out what scholarships you can get - allows kids to compete with themselves.
"They need proof that all of this hard work is going to pay off and they're not just going to do all this stuff at school, maybe not work as much and accrue this money, they need some proof that's going to pay off."
All of the money earned from each school on Raise.me is guaranteed as long as the student applies and is admitted to the college.
Bierker says this is why students need to realize every grade in high school is important.
"It's like a football game. You can't get your butt kicked for half the game and not try and hope to win in the 4th quarter. That's recipe for disaster."
The school counselor hopes a website like this will allow kids to take less money out when it comes to student loans and has some advice for kids who are starting to consider their next step.
"Never take out more debt than you expect your first job to pay."
Raise.me says the average student earns about $25 thousand dollars in scholarships spread out over 4 years.
There are 31 colleges in Pennsylvania that participate with this program.
Some of those colleges only participate with low-income students, Penn State is one of those universities.
As of now, here's the full list of PA colleges that participate:
|Carnegie Mellon University|
|Cedar Crest College|
|East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania|
|Franklin & Marshall College|
|Mount Aloysius College|
|Pennsylvania State University|
|Pennsylvania State University - Abington|
|Pennsylvania State University - Altoona|
|Pennsylvania State University - Fayette|
|Pennsylvania State University- Brandywine|
|University of Pennsylvania|
|University of Pittsburgh - Bradford|
|University of Pittsburgh - Greensburg|
|University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown|
|University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus|
|University of Pittsburgh - Titusville|
|Washington & Jefferson College|
|Westminster College (PA)|
|York College of Pennsylvania|