Written by: Lisa Phelps for Student Choice
Have you been brave enough to venture into the scholarship jungle? It can be an overwhelming, almost frightening place — there are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices.
While the idea of free money sounds great (especially considering how outrageously expensive college is!), finding the right scholarships can take hours and hours of research. Many students are so overwhelmed, they end up not applying for any at all.
That’s where Scholly comes in.
Scholly, whose tagline reads “Helping students and parents find free money to pay for college!”, is a simple-to-use app (Android and Apple) that helps you find college scholarships. It costs just $.99. All you need to do is enter some basic personal information — gender, race, GPA, major — and the app quickly searches through its database of almost 20,000 scholarships for all the scholarships (need and/or merit based) you may be eligible for. As their Internet ad says, “Scholly does the digging so you don’t have to.”
When it was introduced in May 2013, it got some nice press in U.S. News & World Report, USAToday, TechCrunch and the Philadelphia Inquirer. But just last week, Christopher Gray, 21, college student at Drexel University, founder and CEO of Scholly, appeared on the show “Shark Tank” looking for a $40,000 investment from one of the sharks.
Not familiar with the show? Here’s a quick rundown: budding entrepreneurs present their ideas to five industry bigwigs hoping to convince one of the “sharks” to invest money in their idea. He got the $40,000, but the question for high school and college students and their parents is: “Is the app effective?”
In a word, yes. To test it out, I entered my college-age son’s information and immediately got a list (longer than my arm!) of just those scholarships that fit his circumstances. Within the app, you can sort your results by due date or amount. (Sorting by due date makes more sense so that those with expired due dates will drop to the end of the list.) Just click on a listing to see more information about the scholarship or to go to their website to apply. You can also create a saved list of scholarships you’re interested in so you can go back later to apply.
Lots of students are using it. As of today (2/25), it’s the top paid app in Apple’s App store. Their Facebook page has 6,700+ “likes” and it has received a rating of 3.5-4 stars out of 5 by user reviews. On the show, Gray claimed that more than 92,000 people had purchased it.
Can you do the same thing by just using Google? Sure, but the results won’t be tailored to your particular situation. Do you have to pay to see these scholarships? Of course not. In fact, there are lots of free sites out there (scholarships.com, sail scholarship search, veteran scholarships, just to name a few), but $.99 seems like a small price to pay for quick, easy access to a list of scholarships that you’re truly eligible for.
Have you exhausted government aid, grants and scholarships?
Find a Credit Union lender near you to help fill the funding gap. Credit Unions believe serving there members is the up-most importance. Let your local Credit Union help you on your road to success!