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student tips

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!

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!

Four popular fall scholarships...

Four popular fall scholarships...

Fall is here! That means apple cider is back, the leaves are changing color, and people are already talking about Halloween. It also means scholarship programs are looking to give you free money for this school year. To help you get started on those scholarship applications we compiled a list of our popular scholarships with deadlines this fall to get you going. 

Voice of Democracy Scholarship
Award amount: $30,000
Who is eligible: High School
Deadline: November 1

1st place for this scholarship goes to a high school student for an exceptional essay on American democracy to be paid directly to the winner’s future college or university. Other scholarship awards from this program range from $1,000-$16,000. This scholarship is open to all American students from 9th-12th grade.


Scholarship America Dream Award
Award amount: $15,000
Who is eligible: Undergraduate students
Deadline: October 15th 

The purpose of this program is to provide financial support for students while they continue through school. Financial need is a heavily considered and 10 scholarships will be awarded.

Addiction Awareness Scholarship
Award amount: $6,000
Who is eligible: Undergraduate and Graduate students
Deadline: December 22nd 

For those who are passionate about addiction and its effects on both individuals and their wider communities, this essay contest is for you. 2nd and 3rd places are also awarded $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. 


U.S. Bank Scholarship
Award amount: $20,000
Who is eligible: High School and College/University Students
Deadline: October 27th 

This scholarship requires applicants to complete Financial Genius tutorials and awards runners-up $5,000-$10,000. Registration is quick and easy and you get to learn about finances along the way!

These are just five of the programs waiting for you to apply to them. You literally have no excuse. Go get those scholarships now!

Financial health starts with staying healthy!

Financial health starts with staying healthy!

School is back in session, the weather is changing, and those scholarship application deadlines are looming. Here are our tips for staying healthy this upcoming application season:

First thing’s first, take those vitamins! Whether it be the gummies, some Emergen-C, or those hippy homeopathic immune system boosters, make sure your body is equip to fight those toxins.

WASH YOUR HANDS. This may seem like a given, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t do this after they do their business. Dirty hands is one of the easiest ways to catch someone else’s bug. Keep some hand sanitizer on deck as well.

Sleep. Now this may be difficult if you’re a student balancing classes, extracurriculars, a job, and scholarship applications, but manage your time to make sure you’re giving your body a rest. Tired body means tired immune system.

Hydrate. Fluids are your friend. They flush out germs and toxins and keep your skin glowy.

Swerve on them sick people. Even if they are your friends. If you live with any, be sure to regularly disinfect surfaces and doorknobs.

Get a flu shot. Some schools and pharmacies do them for free depending on your insurance. And why not protect yourself when you don’t have to spend any money?

Break a sweat. Regular exercise is good for your immune system.

Stay warm. Eat some warm food and drink some tea. When you’re cold, your body spends energy warming you up when it could spend that energy fighting off infections. Help your body help itself.

It’s crucial to stay healthy this fall. This is a great time to apply to scholarships and you need to be healthy in order to balance those applications with school work. Some scholarship programs even like to interview candidates, so tip top shape should be a priority.

Happy hunting!

Why Every College Student Needs Exercise

Why Every College Student Needs Exercise

This piece from The Huffington Post on why every college student needs exercise seems more relevant than ever after a slothlike summer weekend of rest and relaxation. Thought we'd share, as now is the time to start training your body, your mind, and your finances to get back into student shape!


The beginning of college is a time of excitement and anxiety. There’s so much to do, so many people to meet, and absolutely no time for lounging around. One thing every college student should make time for, though, is exercising. Exercise is crucial, especially for people who are new to the college lifestyle. If you throw it in your routine right away, it will never feel like you’re missing out while you’re at the gym.

It’s great for your body.
No one likes to say it, but the “Freshman 15” is a very real thing; I experienced it myself. Everyone gains weight their freshman year of college. Admit it, you’re not eating the healthiest and you’re drinking more beer than you ever thought possible. When you’re not in class, studying or working all you want to do is lay in bed and watch Netflix. However, working out several hours a week will help keep off some of that weight. You’ll get fit and be proud of the body you worked for.

It’s great for your mind.
According to one of the greatest lawyers of our time, Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy,” . Even though Woods is only real in Legally Blonde, she was right. College is a time of extreme stress. The constant pressure can get to you if you don’t have a way to release that stress. Going to the gym can actually make you happy while putting you in the best shape of your life. The endorphins can counteract the stress and give you a release for all the pent-up tension.

It’s great for your friendships. 
The best way to actually get yourself to the gym is to go with a friend. One of my best friends took me for the first time my freshman year and I never stopped going. You plan to go together and after that there’s no backing out. As long as you follow through, you have someone to chat with and to get food with after. You can even start looking up great workouts and trying them together. Plus, now you’ll have someone to talk to about how sore you are the next day.

No matter what way you look at it, exercise will make you an overall healthier person. And in college, that’s just a necessity.

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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caitlynne-leary/why-every-college-student-needs-exercise_b_7967830.html

Win our $1000 Scholarship!

Win our $1000 Scholarship!

Share Scholly to enter our $1000 scholarship. If you're a Scholly member, share your code through your app or web account. Every time someone clicks your link, it counts as 1 entry to our $1000 scholarship.

The most entries wins.

Go to your SHARE link in the main menu of the moble and web app. Share your link through social, email, SMS, or all of the above. The more people click on your link the better your chance of winning. A winner will be chosen at the end of September, so share, share, share... and share!

Of course if you're not a Scholly member, sign up now, this won't be the only scholarship opportunity you'll be matched with.