New Year, More Money.

New Year, More Money.

Happy New Year from Scholly! It’s 2018 which means new goals, new scholarships, and new free money. It’s our mission to help as many students as possible reach their potential - and that means having access to education. Our goal for this year to help even more students win scholarships. So keep reading for our tips on how to maximize those applications and get yourself some free money in 2018.

First thing’s first - check stuff out.

Log onto to Scholly ASAP and check out some new matches. We consistently update our database so that users have a range of scholarships to choose from. Save scholarships to which you would like to apply. Try to save a combination of scholarships for which you have high Scholly Scores and those offering large sums of money to prioritize your applications. 

Now plan your attack. 

Take note of due dates for your saved scholarships and make an application timetable for yourself. Be sure to set realistic goals by giving yourself enough time for each application. Some spring scholarship applications are due sooner than others, but a bulk of them tend to be due in March. So be sure to start early so that you’re not scrambling to finish by the time spring break roles around.

When in doubt, ask!

We understand that scholarship essays can be tricky. Some topics are very broad while others a rather specific, and deciphering what and what not to include can be daunting. Many scholarship programs have a ‘Past Winners’ section where you can see profiles and sometimes essays of previous winners. These sections can help you get an idea of the kind of applications the scholarship program is looking for. Scholly also has an in-app ’Resources’ section with examples of scholarship essays for some extra help.

Edit.

Ask teachers, friends, parents or anyone else in your life whose eyes you think would benefit your essays. Typos and other grammatical errors are the quickest way to sabotage your applications so be sure to get rid of them. Also, you would be surprised at how people close to you pick up on qualities you may even miss about yourself; they can also help you articulate those qualities that will prove helpful to your essays. 

Lastly, just be yourself.

Authenticity is your greatest asset. These scholarship programs are looking to get a feel for your voice, so make sure it feels and sounds like you and not someone you think they would like. They want to know about you and what you do. Even if they give you a specific question to answer, they will want to know how that relates to you, your interests, and your extracurricular activities. 

So Happy New Year, happy applying, and all the best for the year to come. 

How to keep your scholarship money!

How to keep your scholarship money!

Congratulations to all Scholly winners, and any scholarship winners in general! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your hard work paying off and having some of that financial strain eased. However, as a scholarship winner there are some things you REALLY need to know. 

Money from scholarships, grants, and fellowships can count as income, which means these funds can be taxable. And if they are taxable, you need to tell Uncle Sam. Keep reading for a 101 on taxes and scholarships. 

A scholarship/grant/fellowship is tax free if:

  • You are a full-time or part-time student working towards a degree at a primary, secondary, or accredited post-secondary institution 
  • The award goes toward tuition and fees to enroll or attend an educational institution
  • The award goes toward fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for your courses 
  • Your award will be tax free only if you use it to cover expenses just summarized 

A scholarship is taxed if it is used to cover:

  • room and board 
  • travel
  • research
  • clerical help
  • fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are not required for the course or attendance

If your scholarship/grant/fellowship goes towards both tuition and room and board, the amount that covers tuition is tax-free and the amount that covers room and board is taxable. Making this adjustment will require you to adjust other parts of your tax return as well.

Say you are filing a deduction for educational expenses, you must subtract the tax-free amount of award money from your deduction. Generally speaking, items required for your course, or course attendance, are not taxable. 

When in Doubt, Ask!

And ask asap. If you don’t know if your award is taxable, ask the scholarship program sponsoring the award. They will likely have information from the IRS about the tax status of your award money.

You can also be your own detective by going over the IRS’s benefits for education: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center

Congrats to the winners and happy applying to our scholarship seekers, and if you haven't won yet remember to use Scholly to go make it happen!

Why the Holidays are a good time to apply to scholarships.

Why the Holidays are a good time to apply to scholarships.

The Holiday Season is in full swing and so are scholarship programs looking to give you free money. Should you take a break from school work and rest? Certainly! But you also might want to consider applying to some scholarships. Keep reading for some info on why the Holidays are a good time to start or renew your scholarship search. 

You’ll get a head start.

Many spring scholarships have deadlines as early as January. Applying over the break or at least making a scholarship application timetable will help ensure you don’t miss any great opportunities. The sooner you start looking, the sooner you can get that free money. 

You’ll thank yourself later.

Homework is stressful enough. Applying to scholarships over the break means you don’t have to apply to scholarships during the semester on top of your school work. You’ll also be working on those applications away from the stressful environment of school. 

You’ll be able plan for college.

Many second-semester scholarships are awarded at the end of spring or the beginning of the summer. By then you’ll have figured out where you are going to college and how much you need to shelve out. Applying over the winter means you can offset some of those costs before you’re hit with your expected contribution. And you won’t have to scramble over the summer trying to figure out how to pay for school.

You’ll have a foundation for future applications.

Scholarship essays can be tricky and you want to give yourself enough time to put your best foot forward. Applying over the holidays will also set you up for any applications you may need to submit during the semester - you’ll already have your essays written!

So good luck with the end of the year, happy Holidays, and happy applying!

End of Semester Tips

End of Semester Tips

Thanksgiving is over and the end of the semester is near. That means final papers, final exams, and scholarship deadlines. Some of you may still be enjoying your leftovers - lucky you. But while you’re indulging in the taste of home, you want to make sure you’re prepared for a strong finish to the semester. Here are our tips to help you get the results you want.

Make a study timetable.

It seems redundant, but you’ll thank yourself later. Especially if you’re a procrastinator, work schedules are a way of ensuring you get all your work done with the least amount of stress possible. Set realistic goals when allotting time slots for your work. To get the best out of your timetable, try to strike a balance between making your schedule flexible enough that you can make needed changes down the line, but rigid enough that you will adhere to it. 

Set up a reward system.

Getting to the end of an assignment, exam, or project is always more fun when you have something to look forward to. Whether it be dinner with friends, a mini Netflix binge, or a visit to your favorite art gallery, make sure your reward is something that will motivate you.

Break a sweat.

Exercise is an excellent stress reliever so what better time to relieve stress than during finals? These workouts do not have to be long. A twenty minute run, ab circuit, or jump-roping every morning can make a huge difference to how you feel both mentally and physically. Exercise also boosts your immune system. 

Take those vitamins.

As it gets colder and stress levels increase, you’ll be more susceptible to catching a cold. Any student will tell you no one has time to be sick. So whether you like vitamin C chewables, multivitamins, or even healthy amounts of fruit and vegetables, make sure your immune system is getting the support it needs. 

Sleep.

It’s important for both your productivity levels and your immune system. You’ll have more energy, be able to recall information faster, and manage your stress levels better. 

Apply for scholarships.

A number of fall scholarships close at the end of the year. Be sure to check Scholly regularly and make time for scholarship applications in your study timetable. You wouldn’t want to miss out on free money simply because you didn’t make time to apply for it. We know paying for school is a mission and a half; we’re here to help.

Good luck with the rest of the semester and those scholarship applications. Happy Holidays!

Some more scholarship winning tips ...

Some more scholarship winning tips ...

Fall is a great time to apply for scholarships. So in addition to becoming a Scholly member (obvi the best way to find them!) we wanted to share some other tips to help you find scholarship money.

Look in your backyard.

Your local community likely has college scholarships looking for you. Businesses and organizations in your hood want to support your success as a student, so look for them, and put in the work to apply.

Think out of your backyard.

Colleges often want to build geographic diversity. So consider applying to college scholarships to schools in another state.

Manage your online persona.

Your online presence is important to clean up, as it will most def be looked at. Schools consider their scholarship winners a reflection of themselves, so make sure you look buttoned up, ok, ok, at least reasonably presentable! ;)

 

6 Black-Owned Businesses Started by College Students

6 Black-Owned Businesses Started by College Students

Below is an excerpt written by TeenVogue about Scholly! Check out the full article here.

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One thing college students always need, or perhaps, want, is money. This black-owned business will give just that — money — in the form of scholarships. After being featured on Shark Tank, Christopher Gray’s Scholly app has dominated the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. Students and parents flock to the app to earn thousands of dollars in scholarships, which makes sense, considering Gray earned 1.3 million dollars in scholarships himself. However, it was not enough for Gray to pave his way through college on scholarships. He wanted to make college a reality for every student and created Scholly to simplify the scholarship search. This cool company is like the common app for scholarships as it condenses money-saving information into one neat app. Since Gray’s humble beginnings as an aspiring college student from a single parent household, the company has collected big name partnerships like Jessie Williams serving as the Chief Brand Ambassador. While the app is free to download, it costs $2.99 to unlock its premium features. Still, for the amount of scholarship money available, it is a small fee for a bright future.