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Meet the Student Who Won $142,000 in Scholarships

Meet the Student Who Won $142,000 in Scholarships

 
I’ll never forget that feeling of being on the stage and realizing I could go to my dream school.
— Chika
 

Meet Chika Adiele, a determined college-bound Scholly user from Vegas, NV who won $142,000 in scholarships. Scholly was founded on the ideal of providing an opportunity for all. We stay motivated because of success stories like Chika's. This is how she got that bread: 

Since I was little, I was always told to never worry about paying for college. Then one day during the summer before my senior year, my mom told me that I would have to pay tuition by myself because our financial situation. My dad, the financial breadwinner, had lost everything, and my single mom needed money for other expenses. I was shocked and devastated, but I'm not one to give up easily so I started exploring some options. That’s when I found my solution: scholarships.

In the beginning, the scholarship process was incredibly intimidating and overwhelming. Many websites were terribly organized and barely had any scholarships for me. Then I came across Scholly.

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The website was super user-friendly, matched me with amazing scholarships, and even told me which scholarships best suited me with the Scholly score. I treated applying to scholarships like a part-time job. It was not easy. I went to a dual credit high school which practically made me a full-time college student. On top of my classes, I was the student council president, conducting undergraduate research, doing theater, and volunteering among other things. I’d apply during any spare time I had on the app: rehearsal, between classes, while I was eating, or even during my workouts. The Scholly deadline tracker to kept me on track with applications amidst my crazy schedule.

Over time, applying became easier. I started reusing the same essays and the Scholly blog tips had great advice. What used to take me 2 hours started taking 30-45 minutes. It actually started becoming fun and was a major confidence booster. With the help of Scholly, I applied to over 100 scholarships during my senior year. To top it off, I even got accepted into my dream school: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I still remember the very first major scholarship I won. It was the end of April, and it was from the Rogers Foundation. At this point, the college decision day was a little over a week away. I still didn’t have the funds to go to UNC-Chapel Hill, but I kept a positive attitude. Next thing I knew, I won the grand scholarship of $100,000. I’ll never forget that feeling of being on the stage and realizing I could go to my dream school. My mom was screaming and I teared I was so happy. It got even better. During the next ten days, I won over $40,000 more in outside scholarships. Not only was I able to afford college but could now go practically for free.

I plan on majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish so that I can go to medical school and become a doctor. With the help of scholarships and Scholly, I’m one step closer to my dream.

Congratulations, Chika! The Scholly team is proud of you. 

Have your own Scholly Story to share? Let us know! Still need to make your dreams come true? Join Scholly today! 

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.


Inspired by our million-dollar scholar? Get started on your own path to student success with our $10,000 'No Essay' Summer Scholarship! Application takes only two minutes. 

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!

Christopher Gray's top tips on how to apply for as many scholarships as possible ...

Christopher Gray's top tips on how to apply for as many scholarships as possible ...

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It’s back to school time and we know college is on your mind, as well as how to pay for it! Luckily, the fall is prime time for scholarships. This is when the biggest scholarships out there are opened up and ready for you to apply to. When I was back in high school, September gave me a bit of a high. Suddenly, I realized that there was so much money out there for me, and I had to find the most efficient way to get it all done and to apply for as many as I could. That being said, here are a few tips to make sure you get to apply for as many scholarships as possible:

  • Recycling scholarship essays is a great way to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Most scholarship essay prompts are similar (or sometimes the same) so I suggest reusing essays as much as you can in order to scale your efforts. I personally won 1.3 million dollars in scholarships,  and for a lot of the scholarships I won I recycled my essays!
     
  • Scholarships that have very specific eligibility requirements are usually easier to win since there will be fewer applicants. The same goes for smaller scholarships that are around $1000-$5000, since many students don’t apply for them thinking they are not meaningful amounts and won't move the needle. Smaller scholarships can add up and really make a difference. Scholly allows our users to sort scholarships by amount and we also have something called the Scholly Score, which lets our users know how competitive the scholarships are. 
     
  • Lastly, you can also reuse the same recommendation letters. It’s terrible when you have finished a scholarship application and at the last minute you need to rush and wait on mentors, teachers, your boss, or whoever to write you a solid recommendation letter. Find the people to write them now and get it done!

Also, Scholly has some new updates in the coming months that will make the scholarship process even more efficient for students. Stay tuned!  :)

 

How to Manage Your Scholarships on Scholly

How to Manage Your Scholarships on Scholly

You probably know by now that Scholly matches you with scholarships meant just for you, instantly. But did you that we help you manage them too!

Once you build a profile on Scholly and get matched to scholarships (it even has something called a ‘Scholly Score’ which indicates how well matched you are to a scholarship to help you prioritize) scroll through the list and hit ‘Save’ for the ones to which you’d like to apply. These saved scholarships will show up on your ‘Saved’ list which you can access by clicking on the ‘Saved’ button at the top of your scholarship list.

You now have your favorite scholarships ‘Saved’ and you can start applying! Be sure to keep track of deadlines and maybe even make yourself an application schedule. Once you’ve started on a scholarship application, you can click the ‘In Progress’ button on the scholarship box to mark that you are still working on it. Once you have finished that application, click on the ‘Applied’ button. The scholarship will have a blue tick next to it and be moved to the bottom of your ‘Saved’ list.

If and when you win a scholarship, the scholarship program will contact you directly. At that point, log into Scholly and click the ‘Won’ button. A green trophy will appear next to the scholarship you won, and THAT feel really, really good!

Happy applying!

The Smithsonian Awards intro video ...

The Smithsonian Awards intro video ...

Several weeks ago we were honored by The Smithsonian as M. Night Shyamalan introduced Christopher Gray with the American Ingenuity Award for Youth Achievement. We wanted to share this exceptional intro video that celebrates and summarizes our story on how we're bringing opportunity to all people, by making their scholarship search more efficient and more successful. Winning these awards isn't about ego for us, it is a reflection that we are making progress on our vision to help all students achieve their potential. We will continue to earn it, every day.