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student debt

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!

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. 

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

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.

The Top 5 Myths About Scholarships

The Top 5 Myths About Scholarships

Many people believe that they can’t or won’t win scholarships for certain reasons that really aren’t true. We want you to win as much money as possible for college so here’s our list of the top 5 myths about scholarships to keep you encouraged throughout the process:

1) “I don’t have enough time to search for and apply to scholarships.”

Not to toot our own horn but that’s why we’re here! Scholly was made for you so you don’t have to spend all of that time searching for scholarships. Make sure you keep a list of your activities and update them in the Miscellaneous category on your profile to get matched with more targeted scholarships that are suited for you.

2) “There are too many people I’m competing against to win this scholarship.”

There are so many scholarships out there. And by so many, we mean SO many. Over $100 million in scholarship awards go unclaimed each year. These range from essays that ask you to write your favorite thing about milk to telling about a time where you overcame a struggle. The chances are that there are scholarships out there that you will win but you just need to apply!

3) “I can’t get scholarships with my GPA”

Yes you can. Plain and simple - there are scholarships out there that don’t have any GPA requirements. While you should work to improve your GPA, it does not define your scholarship opportunities so apply and apply often.

4) “My race or family’s income is going to prevent me from getting scholarships.”

It’s true that many scholarships are suited for specific income levels or racial backgrounds. However, those are not the only opportunities that exist. Scholarships cater to people based on a variety of criteria where race and income don’t matter. These merit based scholarships offer great ways to help afford your education.

5) “I’m too [insert reason here] for scholarships.”

I’m too old, young, boring.... Don’t let your thoughts discourage you from applying to scholarships because the truth is that scholarships abound in a variety of categories. You should have to be intentional about finding what opportunities match you the best. And we’re here to help you do exactly that.