Sunny won $600k in scholarships! Watch the incredible story.

Sunny won $600k in scholarships! Watch the incredible story.

One of Scholly's most compelling stories is that of Sunny Sandhu a student who used Scholly to win over $600,000 in scholarships to attend Princeton University. Today we share with you Sunny's personal experience with winning scholarships and how significant they can be to achieving your dreams. Here's the story of how a student set his dreams on Ivy League school, created his plan, and grew to see them fulfilled. 

He won nearly every major scholarship (and many others) including the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Coca Cola Scholarship, and Jack Cook Kent Scholarship. These scholarships will help him attend school debt free. Sunny is an inspiration to us and we know he'll be an inspiration to you. 

Check out the video here and be sure to share it with your friends. 

 

Scholly & CommonBond's $10,000 Scholarship Winner: The First in His Family to Attend College

Scholly & CommonBond's $10,000 Scholarship Winner: The First in His Family to Attend College

Bobby Robinson

BOBBY ROBINSON

Winner of the Scholly + CommonBond $10,000 Scholarship.

Not many 18-year-olds can picture what their life will look like in 10 years. Bobby Robinson is not most 18-year-olds.

“I see myself financially stable, with good credit, hopefully still in the Marine Corps, leading Marines,” Robinson said. “At that point in my life, I will start giving back to my community.”

For now, he’s on the receiving end — and with goals like these, it’s clear that he’s a deserving candidate.

This month, Robinson was awarded a $10,000 scholarship from Scholly & CommonBond. The award furthers Scholly’s commitment to connecting students with scholarship opportunities nationwide, and CommonBond’s goal of making higher education financing more affordable and transparent to invest in the futures of students. 

Robinson found out about the scholarship opportunity by simply searching through opportunities on the Scholly mobile app. But how did he find out that he’d actually won?

“Honestly, I was just getting out of a rifle drill with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), and I saw the email and I ran out of the room,” said Robinson, a current freshman pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Savannah State University in Georgia. “The first thing I did was share the news with one of my senior officers.”

“I couldn’t believe that I was awarded so much money — $10,000 means I can be comfortable financially because I won’t have student debt this year, and I can continue to focus on preparing myself for the Marine Corps mentally, physically and spiritually when I graduate from college.”

I made a goal to be the first in my family to attend college, but I never knew how I was going to be able to pay for college since my mom was not able to be able to pay,” he said. “But I knew some way or somehow I was going to make it through college without her worrying.

Robinson is hopeful his education will lead him to where he wants to be in a decade. Looking back, Bobby has already overcome a number of obstacles to achieve his goals.

For one, no one in his family had ever gone to college. 

Born in Miami, Robinson grew up hoping that a scholarship to play football would pave the way to a four-year school (and even the National Football League). When he realized his more realistic route of attending college came via enlisting, he did just that.

“I made a goal to be the first in my family to attend college, but I never knew how I was going to be able to pay for college since my mom was not able to be able to pay,” he said. “But I knew some way or somehow I was going to make it through college without her worrying.”

A $10,000 scholarship certainly helps.

Robinson’s tuition is covered by the Navy, but his actual cost of attendance is financed in a number of ways. He was previously awarded a Pell Grant and took subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans from the government, and said the Scholly-CommonBond check will help him cover the costs of his housing (nearly $4,000). He also credited Savannah State’s financial aid counselors with helping him find as much gift aid as he can grab.

Robinson said he will continue to use Scholly’s app to find scholarship listings, and he is just getting familiar with CommonBond, which recently launched student loans for undergraduates like him as well as for graduate students.

If his dream of becoming a Marine Corps Officer in three years comes to fruition, Robinson plans to use his active duty salary to pay off his student loan debt within three years of graduating.

Before looking too far ahead, of course, he’s thinking more pointedly about what is of most concern to many students in America — his next year of college.

“I'm excited about sophomore year because I will be going into fall semester with an actual feel of college, so I will know what to expect and how to better balance class, work and NROTC,” he said. “I look forward to taking the good and the bad from my freshman year and applying it to my sophomore year to better myself as an individual, as a scholar and as a leader.”

Robinson, long interested in psychology, is majoring in behavioral analysis. He said he hopes to use his degree to communicate effectively with senior and junior Marines.

“My freshman year has been quite challenging,” Robinson said. “As Midshipmen, we have to realize that we are not the average college student. It’s a lot of responsibility as soon as you step foot on campus.”


About Scholly and CommonBond

Scholly is the scholarship-matching platform that has helped high school seniors, current undergraduates, and graduate students win over $70 Million for their education. Our web and mobile app turns the long months of search for scholarships into minutes, by delivering a smarter, targeted list of scholarships that are uniquely suited to you. It was created by Christopher Gray who won $1.3 million in scholarships through hard work, grit and determination. Realizing how broken and time consuming this process was, he and his team created Scholly to make things a lot easier for you. Find out more, and join Scholly at www.myscholly.com.
 

CommonBond is a financial technology company on a mission to give students and graduates more transparent, simple, and affordable ways to pay for higher education. By designing a better student loan experience that combines advanced technology with competitive rates and award-winning customer service, CommonBond has funded $1 billion in loans for its tens of thousands of members. The company’s enterprise platform, CommonBond for Business™, enables employees to receive a suite of student loan repayment benefits from their employer. CommonBond is the first and only finance company with a "one-for-one" social mission: for every loan it funds, CommonBond also funds the education of a child in need, through its partnership with Pencils of Promise. For more information, visit www.commonbond.co.

Graduation. Celebration. Scholarships?

Graduation. Celebration. Scholarships?

Graduation celebrations. Cap and gowns galore. Prom. Good music and great friends. Right now is surely a time for celebration as you take the next steps to advance your education. It's one small step for you and one giant leap for your life. As you enjoy the fruits of your labor thus far keep in mind that it's no time to slow down. Now is the time to really set yourself apart to support and fund your education.

We recommend two things as you spend your summer preparing for college. The first is to get involved - volunteer, commit yourself to an internship, mentor other students. Ensure that this summer equips you with additional items that set you apart. Why? Not only will these experiences help cultivate a broader sense of purpose but they'll also be valuable assets for when you get into college and want to tell your story to Financial Aid in future years to secure additional scholarship funding for school. Many institutions have internal scholarships that require unique experiences and want to support students who will be valuable to the school. Start that process this summer by doing some amazing things.

Second, apply to more external scholarships. Deadlines are still fast approaching but you have time to search for scholarships and submit scholarship applications to win some last second funding. Many scholarships go unapplied for because of the stigma associated with different "peak scholarship seasons." What's important to remember is that scholarships and those who issue them are year round - apply often. 

With a heartfelt congratulations from the Scholly team, we congratulate you and wish you a wonderful summer! Stay tuned for more exciting tips and tricks for how to win free money for college! 

Christopher Gray on why summer is one of the best times to apply for scholarships.

Christopher Gray on why summer is one of the best times to apply for scholarships.

It’s almost summertime, and students have just gotten their college acceptance letters to the colleges of their dreams (hopefully!) This exciting time for some only lasts for a moment, since it's often followed by the realization that they have to figure out how they're going to pay for it. I know first hand that it's a stressful task, as you prepare to enjoy your last summer before college, or another summer while you are in college. And while some think summer is only here for beaches, sun, and fun, at Scholly we also see it as a prime time to apply for scholarships. So, why is summertime one of the best times to apply for scholarships?

  1. Lots of scholarships are open in the summer to help students pay for that tuition bill they are going to get in the mail. There are scholarships ranging from $1000 all the way to full rides!
     
  2. Since some students have already figured out how they're going to pay for college, scholarships open in the summer are often less competitive. That’s more money for you, and better odds of getting those awards.
     
  3. Since you likely know what school you're going to and how much financial aid you're going to receive, it makes it a lot easier to be strategic about what scholarships you want to apply for. You'll know the amount you need and can avoid having to spend your time applying for every award imaginable.

Of course, to find all of these scholarships, we urge you to check out Scholly, the easiest place to find scholarships for college. Happy hunting!

How to Make Money in College

How to Make Money in College

Remember, you’re in school to learn and become a successful person. However, we understand that sometimes it is necessary to earn money while in college (yes, even if you're on a scholarship you found with scholarship-search app!). So we’ve compiled a list of creative ways to make some moolah while you’re studying. Don’t let it take up too much of your time though, there are books to be read and places to go! Did you know you could get paid to:

  • Tutor other students or help with resumes
  • Resell your textbooks on sites
  • Sell your class notes
  • Become a Virtual Assistant
  • Transcribe written documents
  • Online freelance work
  • Sell crafts that you’ve made
  • Audit stores or become secret shoppers
  • Fill out online surveys
  • Publish an eBook
  • Sell stock photos
  • Begin a blog and sell advertising
  • Complete micro-tasks on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
  • Test new products and services
  • Create a course online
  • Recycling
  • Baby sit, house sit, and walk dogs
  • Join a research study or focus group
  • Rent out your room, apartment, house, or automobile
  • Deliver food or groceries
  • Use your employer’s tuition reimbursement program
  • Oh yeah, almost forgot. You could get a part-time job

There are so many platforms that make these simple and easy to do. Just google one of the items above and do a little research to see what platform works best for you.

How to Mess Up a Scholarship Essay

How to Mess Up a Scholarship Essay

Oh no, you spelled that word wrong! It happens all the time but mistakes like these and others can cost you free money aka scholarships. You wouldn’t want to miss out on $2,500 because you typed an “L” instead of a “Z” right? Well here are some common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

Fulfill the Criteria

Make sure you read the scholarship application description and follow the guidelines. If the scholarship asks you to write about a time where you overcame a struggle, don’t write about how your aunt’s cat is the most adorable cat. Be careful with copying and pasting other scholarship essays that you wrote - this could be a huge blunder if you replace it with the wrong topic. If the scholarship application says there is a maximum of 500 words, keep it to 500 words. Unfortunately, you won’t get any extra credit here for going over the word count.

Misspellings

We mentioned it briefly in the introduction but this is a very easy way to mess up your scholarship essay. One or multiple misspelled words show the scholarship reviewers that you didn’t take the time to proofread. If you’re competing against others for scholarship money, taking the time to proofread shows that you actually care about getting the scholarship. We suggest getting a second pair of eyes on your scholarship essays to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, run-on sentences, and more.

Stay Humble

Although scholarship essays ask you to talk about yourself, they are no place to brag and boast. In acknowledging your accomplishments you should always carry a strong sense of humility. Scholarship reviewers are here to help support you and it helps if you have stories that reflect on how others in your community have helped you to achieve your goals. We’re all in this together and it’s hard to want to stamp ‘won’ on essays where people think they’ve got it all figured out themselves.

Stay Hungry

If you’ve experienced hardship in your life and your scholarship essays ask you to write about that, make sure that you write in stride. Try to tell your story in a frame that doesn’t sound like you’re complaining about your situation. How people write about their experiences can be very telling about how they deal with those experiences and reviewers of scholarships want to ensure that the individuals they’re supporting will use their resources to continue growing to advance themselves out of their situation.