By Leah Kelly
In February on ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank, Drexel student Christopher Gray successfully presented the sharks with a new app that he made entitled Scholly. He then provided every senior at SLA with a copy of the app.
Scholly is a scholarship database application where students seeking financial help for college or graduate school input different pieces information about themselves such as gender, grade level, GPA, race and major, and then the database matches them with hundreds of scholarships that they are eligible for. The app is currently $0.99.
While this sounds like a wonderful idea, there have been many criticisms of the app online. Even though it has decent reviews and 4 stars on the iTunes store, customers on Google Play have been less than satisfied with Scholly. There are a few major complaints including a particular major not being listed, outdated scholarships being listed and little to no options for undergraduate or graduate students.
Since the entire SLA class of 2015 has access to the app, we’ve had a unique opportunity to check out its strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, this app and idea is nothing special or original. There are a bunch of other free websites and apps that do exactly what Scholly does and they do not match you with faulty scholarships, as Scholly also does.
For example, yesterday I checked my new scholarship matches online with Scholly and I saw that I was matched with a scholarship entitled “Oh, the Places You’ll go! College Scholarship” and it was a full ride. I excitedly clicked on the link to bring me to the website, and it turns out that the scholarship has not been offered for the past two years.
Scholly matched me with another scholarship that they claimed was still open for entry: the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway. When I saw that it was for $100,000, I was really excited to get started on my application. I clicked on the website to view more information and on the homepage, it said “Dr. Pepper is awarding over $1,000,000 in tuition. Entries are closed.”
I am not the only who has been having trouble with this app. Senior Lisa Kang also remarked, “I don’t like Scholly at all, it doesn’t work. It makes you put in information about yourself and then give you scholarships that you’re not eligible for.”
“I looked at it once and gave up. I still use Fastweb,” said Senior Alaina Silverman. Fastweb is one of the most common scholarship search engines used by SLA students and students nationwide. It is almost identical to Scholly in the way that students input information and are in turn provided with lists of scholarships that they eligible for.
When asked how often she uses Scholly, Kang responded, “I was on it the first day that they [the founders of Scholly] gave it to us and then I was on it one more time, but that’s it. I don’t plan on revisiting it because I can just use Fastweb.”
Kang also shared her ideas for improvement: “They need to do a better job with matching students to scholarships- don’t list scholarships they’re not eligible for. It’s not helpful and makes this whole process more frustrating!”
“And make it more visually appealing,” Silverman added with a smirk.