Should you pay $2.99 per month to get access to Scholly's database of college scholarships? If this is a question you're debating hopefully our ‘Scholly Review' will help you make that decision.
If you want to make your search for college funding a lot easier, the answer is yes. Scholly features a database of legitimate, hand-picked scholarship offers. It matches you to various academic awards based on your major, grades, and other information. Scholly can be the difference between paying for school up front and taking out a lot of loans for your education.
What is Scholly?
Scholly is an app that connects students to scholarship opportunities. The mission of the app is to create “opportunity for all” by streamlining and simplifying the college scholarship search process.
Christopher Gray, the founder of the app, came up with the idea after spending seven months researching scholarships to pay for his college education.
Gray was ultimately able to win $1.3 million in scholarships to pay for his education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Among those scholarships were awards from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
His experience and the fact that more than $100 million worth of scholarship money goes unclaimed each year led Gray to design and build the app. He partnered with two other Drexel students, Bryson Alef and Nick Pirello to create Scholly.
Scholly's big break came in 2015 when Gray appeared on the show “Shark Tank.” In case you're not familiar with the show, it provides entrepreneurs with a chance to pitch their products to a panel of investors, or “sharks.” The investors can reject a pitch, accept it or negotiate with the entrepreneur.
During his appearance on the show, Gray convinced two investors to contribute $40,000 to the company, in exchange for a 15 percent ownership stake. Gray's episode would go down as the one that sparked the biggest on-air argument in the history of “Shark Tank.” One of the investors on the panel actually stormed out during the middle of filming.
After the episode, the app shot to the top of the charts at the App Store and remained in the number one spot for two weeks. Initially, the app got 80,000 requests for download after just a few hours.
Scholly got another big break recently when actor Jesse Williams signed on to be its chief brand ambassador. Williams is known for his work on the TV show “Grey's Anatomy,” He's also recognized for commitment to social justice issues, which makes him a good fit for the mission of Scholly, which is to create opportunity for all.
How Does Scholly Work?
If you know how to use a smartphone or the web, using Scholly is a snap. Both the website and app are easy to navigate and use.
During sign-up, you're asked to provide basic information about yourself, such as the gender you identify as, your race, your GPA and your current or expected major. You can also specify the type of scholarships you want, such as merit-based or need-based.
Scholly works on both iOS and Android devices and you're able to access your account from the website if you're using a laptop or other desktop device. The one drawback about the app is that it does cost $2.99 per month, whether you use it on an Apple device, Android or online.
How Many Scholarships Does It Have in Its Database?
Scholly has an actively maintained database with more than 20,000 hand-picked, legitimate scholarships. Since few things are more frustrating than finding a scholarship, only to realize it no longer it exists, the database is regularly updated. A team of staffers works to removed out-of-date scholarships and scholarships that no longer exist from the database.
Additionally, new scholarships are regularly added to the database. Plus, as older scholarships update their application deadline or requirements, those are also updated in the database.
One of the features that sets Scholly apart from other scholarship search services is that a team of people works on choosing the apps for the database. The database uses a sophisticated algorithm to find scholarships, but even that algorithm isn't sophisticated enough to filter out scams.
So Scholly has a team of grad students who work as its quality assurance people. They're called the Scholly Squad, and it's their job to keep scams, such as scholarships that require you to provide just a Social Security number or to pay a hefty fee upfront, out of the system.
About the Scholly App
So, what happens when you download the app and create an account? First, you create a profile with your details. Next, the app finds scholarships that match your needs and qualifications. You can tap on each scholarship to learn more about it, including the application process, deadline, and amount.
If you like a scholarship, you can add it to your list. Once you have a few scholarships in your list, you can begin to track your progress. Once you apply for a particular scholarship, you can tap the “applied!” button in the app. If you end up receiving the award, you can let the app know that as well.
Keep in mind that at the moment, you're not able to apply for scholarships through the app itself. Gray and the other founders of Scholly are working on finding a way to let students use the app the apply for particular awards.
Along with letting your find and track scholarships, Scholly also provides a variety of resources to help you make your application the best it can be. You can read over winning essays to see what scholarship judges are looking for. There's also advice on how you can put your best foot forward with each application.
Is Scholly a Scam or Legitimate?
When you're looking for scholarship money for college, your goal is to make money, not lose money. The cost of Scholly might cause you to wonder if it's a legitimate product or just a scam.
Although it's right to feel cautious when something asks you for money, you can rest assured that Scholly is likely worth the cost of admission. Since the app launched, it has helped students find more than $70 million in scholarship money.
Another way to tell that Scholly is the real deal and not a fly-by-night scholarship search scam is by looking at the people behind it. Its founder, Christopher Gray, used his experience and scholarship-finding success to put together the app.
When you go to school, you want to learn from the best. When you're looking for scholarship money, wouldn't you want to get help from a person who managed to find more than $1 million in scholarships himself?
Additionally, the app has been backed by many people, including the activist actor Jesse Williams and the two investors from Shark Tank. Several institutions and cities have decided to purchase Scholly to provide to students at no charge. For example, the City of Memphis bought the app for the 8,000 juniors and seniors attending high school in Shelby County.
How to Get Started
You can get started with Scholly in one of three ways. You can download the app to your iOS device through the app store. You can download the device through Google Play for an Android device. You can sign up for an account through Scholly's website, using your email address and password.
During sign up, you might be asked to provide a Scholly join code as well. If you prefer, you can create an account with Scholly that's linked to your Facebook account.
Once you've created an account, you'll want to put together your profile. The amount of detail you provide in your profile is what determines which scholarships the app matches you with, so be as detailed as possible.
The app will ask you for your gender, your major, your college or university, and your level of education. It also asks you for “miscellaneous” bits of information, such as your religious beliefs, whether you have certain types of heritage, or if anyone in your family has certain diseases. To find super specific scholarships, you can provide details such as whether you're left-handed or vegan.
After you've built your profile, the app asks you to pay the fee to get access to the scholarships. It's worth noting that you don't have to pay right away, at least if you're creating an account on the website. You're able to access Scholly's resources list, such as sample essays, for free.
If you do pay the fee, the app will present you with a list that can contain up to 200 scholarships. It's then up to you to sort through the list and choose which programs you want to apply to. You can then start the process of applying and keeping track of any awards you win.
Is It Worth $2.99 Per Month?
Now for the $3 question — is access to Scholly's database worth paying $2.99 per month for? The app offers several benefits that can make the answer to the question be “yes.”
First, it simplifies the scholarship search. Once you pay the fee and provide your details, you are connected to several different scholarships, all of which you are eligible to apply to. The app only shows you programs that are currently accepting applications, so you won't have to worry about finding a great award, only to see that the deadline has passed.
Plus, Scholly's search feature does the work for you and works in ways you might not expect. For example, if you have a grandparent or parent who is from Scotland, would you have thought to look for scholarships specifically for students with Scottish heritage? No? Scholly did.
Here's a sad fact of paying for college: there are a lot of scholarship scams out there. The Federal Trade Commission has an entire guide on avoiding getting scammed by unscrupulous “scholarship” programs. When you use Scholly's database, you have the assurance that any scholarships included are legitimate offers.
In part, that is because Christopher Gray and the rest of the team at Scholly go to the trouble of handpicking all the scholarships that the app lists. Since Gray was able to earn $1.3 million worth of scholarships for his education, you're safe in assuming that he knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to finding legitimate awards.
It's also worth noting that you might not need to pay for Scholly yourself. Gray has been hard at work, connecting with businesses and local governments to find a way to make the app available to students for free. In some cases, companies are purchasing the app to distribute en masse to eligible students. In other cases, schools or towns are buying the app for use by a variety of students.
If you're interested in using Scholly but are put off by the $2.99 per month fee, it can be worth talking to a guidance counselor or financial aid officer at your school to see if it would be interested in investing in the app for the benefit of its students.
Keep in mind that you can do what Scholly does on your own. You can run Google search after Google search, looking for valid scholarships. After all, that's what Gray did, and he ended up with enough scholarships to fund several degrees.
But it also took him seven months to find and apply to all those programs. The benefit of giving Scholly $2.99 per month is that you'll spend considerably less time hunting for scholarships and more time applying for the ones that are a good fit.
Once you've gotten your list of scholarships, it's up to you to apply to the ones you want. Our guide on how to get a scholarship will walk you through the process, from helping you craft the perfect essay to helping you determine which offers are best for you.