As seen on Shark Tank! Developer of scholarship-matching app partners with CommonBond
Yes, this is an easy way to find scholarships!
The creators of Scholly — a web and mobile app that has helped students win over $35 million in college scholarships – have announced a new partnership with CommonBond, a technology-enabled lender specializing in making student loans more affordable. The program builds upon Scholly’s mission of helping students not only afford college, but also achieve their potential after graduation.
By using a special Scholly link, students will find an easy way to find scholarships and quickly apply for refinancing with CommonBond that will lower their overall and monthly loan payments. On average, they will save $14,581 over the life of their loan, and enjoy lower monthly payments with interest rates starting at just 2.14% APR. As Scholly members, they will also receive an exclusive $100 bonus to be applied toward their first payment.
“CommonBond is a like-minded partner that shares our vision of helping students achieve their dreams,” said founder, Christopher Gray. “While our core strength remains in helping students pay for college by matching them with scholarships, we also recognize that loans are often necessary. We are proud to support the work that CommonBond is doing to lessen the burden.”
Headquartered in New York City, CommonBond believes that student lending should be more transparent, more affordable and more accessible online or via phone without excessive paperwork. The company uses its technology and data to help people refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate. The savings enable them to achieve goals such as saving for retirement, purchasing a home, starting a business or taking a dream vacation. As a leading values driven financial services firm, CommonBond offers the first “1 for 1” model in finance and education. As part of a “social promise,” for every loan funded, CommonBond also funds the education of a child in need.
Scholly is a seamlessly integrated mobile and desktop platform that helps students easily and quickly access scholarships that are often time consuming to access and find. In just minutes, it allows students to obtain their best individual scholarship matches by using a set of 8 parameters. Based in Philadelphia, Scholly is the brainchild of entrepreneur Christopher Gray, who created the app while still a student at Drexel University.
There was not always an easy way to find scholarships
Gray, who grew up in an underserved community in Alabama, experienced first-hand the difficulty of finding funding for the education he desperately sought. Left to his own devices, Gray doggedly pursued scholarships (often applying on his phone since he had no computer at home – a tedious process). Ultimately, he won $1.3 million in scholarships.
Scholly, whose extensive database comprises both need-based and merit scholarships, also includes helpful tips for the application process, examples of successful essays, and a dashboard for saved dates and deadlines to track the application process.
About Christopher Gray, Founder & CEO, Scholly
Christopher Gray is the founder and CEO of Scholly, a web and mobile app that helps students find scholarships for college. Gray was still a college student himself when he created Scholly to help others pursuing a route that was all too familiar to him.
Gray grew up in an inner city school system and a low-income household headed by a single mother of three. Despite that, he was determined to go to college, and spent long and laborious hours searching and applying for scholarships on the only devices available to him, his mobile phone and public computers. Ultimately, his hard work paid off and he won more than $1.3 million dollars in scholarships to fund the education he so desperately sought.
While an undergraduate at Drexel University, Gray decided to help future students avoid the painstaking application process he had endured and decided to streamline the process by developing Scholly. Scholly has an adaptive matching engine that performs with laser-like focus, delivering smarter, targeted lists of scholarships and saving applicants valuable searching time. In less than two years, the app has helped students win over $20 million in scholarship funds.
While at Drexel, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship, Gray was also a co-op intern at Fannie Mae and a founding partner of First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund, a student-run investment fund that invests in student-run start-ups.
Helping others to find an easy way to find scholarships was key
Gray and Scholly were recently featured on “Shark Tank,” where he landed a deal with Daymond John and Lori Grenier, while also sparking the biggest fight in the show’s history. He continues to work closely with both John and Grenier today as Scholly evolves and grows.
In early 2016, Gray was named one of Forbes’ “30 under 30” social influencers who are helping make the world a better place. In 2015, he was also awarded the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of 2015 for Philadelphia, where he currently resides, and also won Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” competition. In addition, he is a Coca Cola Scholar, a Bill Gates Scholar, a Horatio Alger Scholar, a Founder Society member, a Kairos Society Fellow, an Under Armour Cupid’s Cup winner, and the winner of Drexel’s Incubator competition.. Gray’s name also appears on the BET “30 Under 30” list
Scholly has partnered with the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to provide the app to 275,000 students across America each year at no charge. The app has also been endorsed by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Gates Millennium Scholars Foundation.