Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Scholly – the App Bringing Millions of Dollars to College Students in Need, and Encouraging Educational ‘Opportunity for All’

Christopher Gray found that each year $100 million in scholarships go unclaimed while students drown in debt.  He confirmed that there is a lot of scholarship money out there and through hard work and diligent searching, he landed himself a whopping $1.3 million in scholarships.

Gray came up with the idea for a mobile app to make things easier for other students seeking scholarships. He later teamed up with Nick Pirollo and Bryson Alef to become co-founders of what is now known as Scholly and what will forever be known as encouraging ‘Opportunity for All’.

Gray made an apperance on the ABC’s “Shark Tank” to convince a panel of financiers to back his business and was able to secure $40,000 in capital. Within hours of the episode airing, the Scholly site was bombarded with 80,000 requests. Since then, 850,000 users have downloaded the app—and it has connected students with $50 million in scholarships. 

Gray has met with Bill Gates, been honored by Oprah Winfrey, invited  to the White House twice. As well as Steve Case, the AOL co-founder, awarding a $100,000 competitive grant to Scholly.

Aware of the app’s potential, some users have bought the app for other students. Such as Karen Starks, a teacher who recently used her own money to purchase the Scholly app for all 600 seniors in her school.  Then there are people like Edmund Ford who organized a successful citywide fund-raising drive that enabled Memphis, Tennessee to become the first city in the U.S. to have Scholly for its school system.

To determine the various scholarships that a student is eligible for, Gray’s app asks for simple background information on the student's : 1) gender, 2) race, 3) current location, 4) citizenship, 5) GPA, 6) grade level, 7) degree sought, 8) preferred colleges, 9) major/ field of study, 10) whether application is based on need, and/or merit, and 11) miscellaneous – a list of multiple questions to find out background, health, and other factors (e.g., whether a veteran dependent) that could make a student eligible for some of the many scholarships out there.

To access the “full story” on Gray’s app, please click here and also here; and to check out the app and confirm that the needed investment (the one-time fee now stands at $2.99) is worth it, please click here.

Posted by Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi

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