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“We’re lending money we don’t have, to students who can’t pay it back, to educate them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts.”


Student loans have eclipsed one trillion dollars.

One. Trillion. Dollars.

Personally, I think it’s insane to start a career thirty grand in the hole, especially when there are no jobs in your chosen field. The fact is, the vast majority of jobs today do NOT require a four-year degree. They require training, and a truly useful skill. I think we’ve confused the cost of an education with the price of a diploma. That’s why I started The mikeroweWORKS Scholarship Fund. I want to challenge the idea that an expensive four-year degree is the best path for the most people, and call attention to thousands of real opportunities in the real world that real companies are struggling to fill.

The mrW Scholarship Fund began with a $250,000 allotment, and I’m pleased to report that the money is now completely gone. But wait…there’s more! Over the next few months, mikeroweWORKS will partner directly with some of the very best Trade and Technical Schools in the country, beginning with Midwest Technical Institute, Delta Technical, Tulsa Welding, RSI and TWS.

mrW Trade School Scholarships

Whereas other grants and scholarships focus just on academic achievement, athletic ability, or artistic talent, mrW/MTI scholarships are intended to encourage something else – the desire to learn a useful skill, and the willingness to work your butt off. That’s it.

To qualify for a mrW/MTI Scholarship, you have to be a high-school senior who is willing to learn a skill. You’ll need to write an essay. You’ll need to provide attendance records and references. You’ll also need to submit a short video and post it on Facebook. In short, you’ll need to make a case for yourself, because the public is going to vote on who gets the money. And the money at stake is significant – on average, $15,000 per scholarship. And something else – you’ll need to sign The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (Skills & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo).

Please take a moment to read the SWEAT Pledge before you go any further. Yeah, I know…some people might find the notion of signing a Pledge to be silly. Others might philosophically disagree with it’s content. Well, if that’s the case, this particular pile of free money is not for you. Remember – mikeroweWORKS is not just a Scholarship Fund – it’s a PR Campaign for hard work and skilled labor. Taking The SWEAT Pledge is a simple but important part of that campaign. If you can’t bring yourself to take the SWEAT Pledge, you will not qualify for a mrW/MTI Scholarship. It’s non-negotiable.

mikeroweWORKS is committed to helping close our countries skills gap by challenging the misconceptions that surround “alternative education.” All the schools we partner with share that goal. They have lots of campuses in lots of states. I realize that many who read this will not be geographically suitable for these opportunities, but don’t despair. Other schools are coming soon, and mikeroweWORKS Scholarships are just getting started.

Stay tuned-
Mike Rowe, “Dirty Jobs”
mti delta_logo


Visit the individual websites for more information.

TWS_Jacksonville_logoFinal                              Tulsa Welding School LogoUTI_Badge-Trademark_PROG_RGB (1)                            Refrigeration School