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Scholarship Search

How to Avoid Student Debt in 2019

How to Avoid Student Debt in 2019

Happy New Year from Scholly! It’s 2019 which means new goals, new scholarships, and new opportunities. With college application season all but over, scholarship season is in full swing. It’s our mission to help as many students as possible reach their potential - and that means having access to education. With each year, we strive to propel even more students towards success than the last, so here are some Scholly tips on how to maximize those scholarship applications and avoid student debt in 2019.

File your FAFSA.

Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your first step towards determining your financial aid packages from your schools of choice. The sooner you file your FAFSA, the sooner you’ll know how much assistance you’ll receive from each of your prospective schools, and the sooner you can start planning for your future. Try to finish filing this month if you haven’t already. Filing early will to give you time to take advantage of rolling scholarship opportunities that could supplement your aid.

Check out Scholly.

Log onto Scholly ASAP and check out your 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 with high Scholly Scores and large awards 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 to give 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, with another in April. Start early so that you’re not scrambling to apply for scholarships by the time spring break rolls around.

When in doubt, ask!

We understand that scholarship essays can be tricky. Some topics are very broad while others are 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.

Run your application essays through Scholly Editor! It’s our instant proofreader that scans your writing for both style and grammar mistakes so you can put your best foot forward. Content wise, ask teachers, friends, parents or anyone else in your life whose eyes you think would benefit your application to read your essays. You’d be surprised at how people can pick up on some of your strongest qualities that even you may miss. They can help you articulate those attributes for your applications and make them stronger.  

Lastly, keep going.

The scholarship application process is full of ups and downs. If you’re feeling disappointed about not having won a few scholarships to which you’ve applied, keep trying. There is always another opportunity out there and you are not going to win every scholarship you apply to, but a scholarships is always a better option than a student loan. Remember to stay positive and keep improving upon your applications. If you don’t win an award, you can always reach out to ask for feedback on your application!

2019 is already a big year for Scholly with the launch of our Student Loan Payoff Program in partnership with grownish - and that is just the beginning of exciting things to come for the Scholly community. So Happy New Year, happy applying, and all the best for 2019!

How to Get More Scholarship Matches on Scholly

How to Get More Scholarship Matches on Scholly

Student life moves fast. You're getting that degree, exploring your interests, joining new organizations, working part-time, volunteering, and crossing things off of your bucket list. But while you're maintaining your busy schedule, you may be leaving money on the table - literally.

If you don't take a moment to update your Scholly profile, there will be scholarship matches out there that won't find you. For example, tutoring kids at a community center isn't just a great way to make a difference, but can also get you more scholarship matches from programs looking to sponsor students involved in their communities. Just think: what has changed in my life recently? Maybe your GPA has improved, or you joined a new club, or even changed your major!

At Scholly we are constantly adding scholarships to our database to bring our users the best opportunities out there. We've added 160 scholarships in September and the month isn't even over! Try to make monthly updates to your profile, especially if your activities are shifting. Keep adding your latest accolades, skills, and interests. No matter what happens in your life, personal or school related, programs want to know.

We've just hit fall and scholarship programs are hunting for their next generation of awardees. Do yourself a favor and go back and tick all the boxes that tell your fullest story. The result could be thousands of dollars saved on your education.

How Small Scholarships Can Help You Avoid Student Debt

How Small Scholarships Can Help You Avoid Student Debt

Every spring there are floods of media reports about students winning millions of dollars in scholarships for college. Scholly founder and CEO, Chris Gray, was one of those stories. Chris won over one million dollars to go to college, some of it from big name scholarship programs like the Gate's Foundation and Coca Cola Scholars Foundation. While these large scholarships helped propel Chris to success, it was the smaller scholarship awards that made more of a difference than he expected.

Two hundred and fifty dollars, five hundred dollars, a thousand dollars... every scholarship adds up, and is money you don't have yet. You know what else adds up? Miscellaneous expenses that come with student life. Books, a broken laptop, clothes for an internship interview, emergency travel, tuition for a summer course, storage fees and more will be part of your financial considerations. Financial aid does not cover these expenses. You must pay for them on top of normal tuition, fees, and housings costs that rise each year. Smaller scholarship awards help you pay for the extra expenses.

When you log into Scholly to see new matches, take the time to look into the smaller scholarships. Use the Scholly Score to prioritize your applications. If you're well-matched to a smaller scholarship, go for it! Extra free money hurt no student - trust us. Edit your application essay with Scholly Editor, then apply! You might end up a few hundred dollars richer.

And remember, scholarships are offered all year round! Log into Scholly now and avoid student debt.

Scholarships in Celebration of PRIDE

Scholarships in Celebration of PRIDE

Happy Pride from the Scholly team!

We extend our support to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community in celebration of Pride this month. At Scholly we are all about #OpportunityforAll, and we want to shed light on current LGBTQ scholarship opportunities. Here are our top picks:

Visto Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Due Date: June 29th 2018

Formerly known as The Collective, Visto is a digital marketing company that started the Bill Caspare Memorial Fund. The fund provides scholarships for diverse students - including LGBTQ - interested in advertising and media. Applicants must be undergraduate upperclassman or graduate students.

GAPA Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Due Date: June 30th 2018

The GAPA Foundation celebrates and awards scholarships to LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander (API) student activists. Highs school seniors, trade/vocational school students, undergraduates, and graduate students are all encouraged to apply.

 PRAXAIR Industrial Refrigeration Diversity Scholarships

Amount: $1,750

Due Date: December 31st 2018

This scholarship is administered by the Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation and is for diverse students interested in the refrigerator industry. Applicants must be engineering students within one or two years of graduating. The scholarship acts as a grant to attend the Annual International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) Industrial Refrigeration Conference.

Diversity in STEAM Magazine Scholarship

Amount: $500

Due Date: August 15th 2018

Diversity in STEAM Magazine promotes employment and educational opportunities to people of diverse backgrounds. Applicants must have an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Both current and prospective university students are welcome to apply.

We constantly update and add to our database so be sure to login into Scholly regularly for new scholarship opportunities. Happy Pride and good luck on those applications!

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!

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! ;)