The Blog


The is information about searching for scholarships, the best way to find scholarships, where to find money for college and creating opportunity for all students and student's parents, including high school seniors, current undergraduates and grad students. 

Robert's scholarship meant more than just money.

Robert's scholarship meant more than just money.

Introducing Robert R, who used Scholly to find and win several scholarships... but it's what else he found using Scholly that's really moving. We're so inspired by Robert and are truly proud to be part of his story and success. Finding scholarships can not only help you afford college, but can give you some extra positivity, motivation, and boost at critical moments in your life. Check out Robert's story below and share it to help inspire others to achieve their dreams! 

Christopher Gray on How to be a Social Entrepreneur.

Christopher Gray on How to be a Social Entrepreneur.

Recently the New York Times published this awesome article on Scholly's Founder, Christopher Gray. In it, he shares advice for students hoping to launch a sustainable social venture — we wanted to paraphrase a couple points from it in case you may have missed it. While Christopher may have made his social entrepreneurial contribution by inventing a scholarship-search platform that connects students with money for college, the ingredients can be consistent through any venture. 

Find Your Motivation

Being from Birmingham, Ala., you tend to want to get out of Birmingham, Ala. I wanted to be a tech entrepreneur. I wanted to escape and get to a place where I could do that. My brother and sister were 4 and 2 at the time I was going to college. I wanted to break the cycle and create a better life for them. They now have someone they can see who’s different than what’s around them. All the success is just surreal, and it’s emotional. When I started Scholly, my goal wasn’t to make a billion dollars. It was to help a lot of people.

The ‘Aha’ Moment

Realizing there’s a big market, that’s when I knew this could be a business. At Drexel I was around a lot of kids who had different backgrounds. I saw, it’s not just me. Both parents could make 100K, but they have three kids in college. They need scholarships, too.

Make a Deal

To get on “Shark Tank,” my advice would be to find a producer and have a conversation. A producer spoke to one of my friends at Drexel and I ran up to ask for an introduction. I pitched my story and ended up calling him, like, six times. Be persistent. The producer I talked to had to find scholarships of his own, so he understood. Find people who identify with what you’re doing.

Leverage Your Peers

You have a lot of people around you who want to get experience and will work for free. And a lot of your friends have connections. One of my investors is Springleaf and that came from a guy I partied with. His dad is the C.E.O.

Leverage Your University

Your university wants your success as much as you do. I was a student when I appeared on “Shark Tank.” That’s a big thing for the school. Drexel helped promote us. Your university has tons of networking events and marketing opportunities. Students don’t have money, so we have to figure out the most inexpensive way to get the word out there.

Tap Student-Specific Cash

There are so many funding opportunities specifically for students. I think students miss that sometimes. I won $75,000 from Cupid’s Cup, an entrepreneurship competition for students and recent graduates. At Drexel, I won $32,000 in an incubator competition.

Persevere

When you’re a student, you study hard for a test and you make an A. You have a degree of control over your success. When you’re an entrepreneur, you can work eight months on a deal and it may not go through. Markets change. Investors change their minds. When that happens, be resilient. Students may not be used to dealing with that yet. If a little boy from Birmingham, Ala., can go to college, pay for it and build a successful company before the age of 25, so can you.

And the 2016 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Youth Achievement goes to ...

And the 2016 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Youth Achievement goes to ...

It is with great pride that we're finally able to announce that our Founder and CEO, Christopher Gray, is to be honored as a winner of the 2016 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards for creating Scholly.

From their site: First introduced in 2012, the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards was created to recognize the previous year's shining achievements, of individuals in nine categories, who have had a revolutionary effect on how we perceive the world and how we live in it. Groundbreaking innovators are across categories including technology, performing and visual arts, natural and physical sciences, education, historical scholarship, social progress and youth achievement. The honorees embody the Smithsonian Institution's mission of increasing and diffusing knowledge.

As the winner of their Youth Achievement category they further explain that, "Christopher Gray is the founder and CEO of Scholly, the groundbreaking web and mobile app that matches current or future college students who need financial support with scholarships that can help them. Scholly has been downloaded 850,000 times and has connected college students with some $50 million in scholarships. Philadelphia-based Gray, an ABC “Shark Tank” winner and recipient of a $100,000 grant from philanthropist Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest competition, sees his digital platform as a 21st-century tool for helping countless young Americans achieve their college dreams without piling on crushing debt."

We are truly humbled by this great honor and to be in the company of Jeff Bezos, Aziz Ansari, OK GO, David Lynch, and other incredible people this year. We don't do what we do for the recognition, but we'll be honest with you, when we get it from an organization like The Smithsonian well... it sure  does feel good. 

See the other winners here.

 

OneMain + Scholly: Announcing the College Affordability Series!

OneMain + Scholly: Announcing the College Affordability Series!

It is with great excitement that we announce our content partnership with OneMain. Together, we aim to inform and educate both of our communities about critical topics around college affordability, and suggest simple, effective ways to manage the financial commitment of college.

Scholly is all about matching students with scholarships to help them afford the college of their dreams, but we are aware that scholarships are only one part of a financial story. Since 1912 OneMain has provided personalized loan solutions to meet the needs of their customers. We believe that by partnering with great organizations like OneMain, we can provide college affordability information and financial education to a broader audience.


In this series, you can look forward to learning about college affordability/financial education topics such as: 

  • College costs
  • Financial benefits of a scholarship
  • Where scholarship money comes from
  • How to find and win scholarships
  • Stories and advice from scholarship winners
  • Tools that may help you reach your financial goals
  • Money saving tips
  • and more! 

 
 
Scholly is teaming up with OneMain to give students info on financial resources necessary to attend their dream school and beyond. We’re happy to be working together to make students, not money, first. We have always believed in the power of education, and getting informed about this crucial step in life is critical.
— Christopher Gray, Scholly's Founder & CEO
 
 
Attending college is an important step towards financial security, and it’s a step many of our customers are unable to take due to a lack of resources or understanding of just what support may be available to help them. OneMain is committed to helping our customers build their credit and increase their financial awareness and this partnership with Scholly is a natural extension of our goal to make our customers’ lives better.
— Sheldon Caplis, OneMain's Director of Community Engagement
 

So stay tuned for more in the College Affordability Series. We hope you’ll find it valuable and urge you to share it with your peers!

Courtney Howard, Scholarship Winner.

Courtney Howard, Scholarship Winner.

Scholly helps real students win real money for real college ... for real! Recently, Jesse Williams posted about Courtney Howard, who won 40 THOUSAND DOLLARS using Scholly.  Her commitment to achieving her goals inspires us, and we are truly proud to be part of her success. Finding scholarships can not only help you afford college, but can give you that extra motivation and boost you need to make it happen. Check out Jesse's post and Courtney's story below and share it to help inspire others to achieve their dreams!