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Better Alternatives to the The Scholly Scholarship App: Scholarship Keys
Scholarship Keys is the best alternative The Scholly Scholarship App. Scholarship Keys is a professional Scholarship News app, as well as Scholarship Key generator for students seeking to apply for privileged scholarships, grants, and financial-aid. Scholarship Keys has 24 by 7 scholarship news from all major scholarship search services companies. Scholarship Keys is a one-stop source for scholarship news.
Brief History of the ‘Pure’ Merit-Based Scholarship
In 1988, a young, celebrated Purdue University graduate and former AT& T engineer, former Bell Laboratory employee and Unix-programming expert, and celebrated NASA missile payload designer, met with a group of highly-educated scholars on the campus of the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA, to discuss the need for a different form of financial-aid for students. Although he himself had no college debt as a result of his lucrative jobs both during and before attending Purdue University, he was sympathetic to fellow students. The discussion led to the founding of National Academy of American Scholars, and the creation of the famous Easley National Scholarships. Amongst his many achievements, including testing out of freshman Math, and Chemistry, feeding the homeless in L.A., he also created the marketing concepts of the Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze (elements of Chemistry) to denote superior academic achievement, surpremacy of character and integrity, and meritorious conduct. The use of ‘Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze’ marketing concepts have since been copied, re-copied, and aped by numerous Fortune 500 companies, lesser-known companies, and many others in their marketing literature and product descriptions.
The first scholarships sponsored by National Academy of American Scholars were appropriately called the R.C. Easley National Scholarships, in honor of the outstanding accomplishments of Mr. Easley; one of the most honored and meritoriously decorated graduates in the history of Purdue University. Indeed, the Easley National scholarships brought to America the novel concept of the pure merit-based scholarship in which a student’s eligibility for a scholarship award was no longer dependent upon a specific college choice or distinct major, parental income, or socio-economic factors. To limit the application process to the most serious of scholarship applicants, students were assessed a processing fee in the same fashion as entrprenuers are assessed an application fee1 by Angel investors to review their ideas for funding. Neither was ‘race’ a factor in the selection. Supported by numerous Mayors,the Ronald Reagan administration, Senators, Police Chiefs, and government agencies, educators, etc., the novel concept was very well received.
Thanks to this Purdue University scholar, and authentic ‘Financial-Aid’ expert, numerous other corporations ranging from Dr. Pepper, Microsoft, and Buick have developed national merit-based scholarships to create corporate awareness, and brand recognition. These ‘pure’ merit-based scholarships, regardless of application fee, are copycats of the concept orignally conceived by the founder of National Academy of American Scholars.
FTC Anti-Business Policy Increases Scholarship ‘Sweepstakes’
Fast forward to 2013. Due in large part to the Federal Trade Commission’s deceptive, anti-business, and socialist policy of ‘Pay No More than a Postage Stamp’ for scholarship information, the clean and innocent concept of the ‘pure’ merit-based scholarship has now morphed into numerous lottery-style scholarships, scholarship give-aways, monthly scholarship ‘drawings’, and an assortment or more than a dozen names of awards that are deceptively labeled as ‘scholarships’ but in reality are simply sweepstakes or social gaming; an opinion agreed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in denying the trademark application of Edvisors, Inc. [Stay tuned for my next article in The Scholarship Blog called ‘Scholarships vs. Sweepstakes’]
The Scholly Scholarship App: Rising Tuition, Student-Debt, and Greed Increases Scholarship Entreprenuers
With virtually no experience in the administration, management, or development of scholarship search, scholarship administration, or scholarship selection protocols, skeptics have referred to these new-breed scholarship entreprenuers and new-breed scholarship operators as synonymous with crooked pastors: promising scholarship glory, or promising to create, find, or search for scholarships– all for a fee. According to the main-stream media appointed Financial-Aid Expert Mark Kantrowitz: You should not have to pay money to get money. The Scholly Scholarship App is not free. Students, parents, and users of The Scholly Scholarship App are being asked to fork over .99 cents. The Consumer Division of the Federal Trade Commission warns consumers of paying more than a postage stamp for scholarship information; 99 cents is more than the cost of a postage stamp. Relying the ‘expert’ advice of Mark Kantrwitz, and the FTC, one may certainly consider or regard the The Scholly Scholarship App as a scam. However, such a conclusion may be too premature. Read on.
The Flawed Review by Tech-Crunch of The Scholly Scholarship App
If we are to believe an article published in August 2013, by an online technology review website called TechCrunch, the Scholly Scholarship App for smart-phones is supposed to help students find their ideal scholarships. Drexel University student Christopher Gray, partners Bryson Alef, and Nick Pirollo have developed a mobile app called Scholly to apparently help students search for scholarships. Why the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App apparently believe that an intelligent, college-bound student, needs a mobile application to conduct an exercise as simple as searching for scholarships, is beyond the scope of this article. I defer to a professional psychiatrist.
The Scholly scholarship app is surprisingly simple, and claims to be a tool that college-bound students should use to assist them in searching for scholarships, grants, and financial-aid.
It ceases to amaze me how so many recent college graduates from universities on the East coast — with specific skills, and specific degrees– are suddenly ditching their degrees and instead becoming full-time wanna-bee scholarship entrepreneurs. The creators of The Scholly Scholarship App admit that their goal is to make this simple, easily replaceable mobile app, into a full-fledged business.
Why can’t the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App get a legitimate job based upon the skills and degrees obtained from Drexel University? Experienced and knowledgeable scholarship sponsors with over 20 years of experience are probably wishing that the profit-minded creators of The Scholly Scholarship App spare everyone another pitched effort by neophyte scholarship entreprenurs trying to peddle a needless scholarship product.
The Scholly Scholarship App: East Coast Schools Producing a Glut of Scholarship Entrepreneurs.
What is it with East coast schools producing such a glut of neophyte scholarship entreprenurs? College Prowler, FastWeb, FinAid, all have in common company leaders who obtained specific degrees in engineering, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and degrees not related to Financial-Aid, from an East Coast unversity or college, but apparently failed to impress a single successful Fortune 100 company to employ him/her. Apparently, Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, and similar schools are not placing their graduates in prestigious occupations with top tier Fortune 100 corporations, and therfore these East-coast graduates are thumbing through the scholarship classified ads or seeking an alternative method to make their degrees half-way profitable.
Not surprisingly, the Scholly Scholarship App by Drexel University graduates has its critics, detractors, and East-Coast supporters. According to its creators, iOS and Android users can download the app for $0.99. Think about it. What technology store can you go into and purchase a piece of equipment for just .99 cents and expect it to work? What Adobe software can you buy for just .99 cents? A college student seeking scholarship funds should be able to process, research, and filter scholarship applications more efficiently than a 99 cents mobile scholarship application. What labor did the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App place into development that justified the quantified price of .99 cents?
According to a post by a person called Nick Pirollo, he claims “We chose the 99 cents (for the Scholly Scholarship App) because while it is something your paying for, you are also not giving up your personal information……..” Translation: The creators of The Scholly Scholarship App admit that the connsumer is being forced a fee in exchange for NOT providing their personal information. However, there is never a legal requirement for any consumer to provide personal information to any non-government agency, and therefore the basis of the argument by Nick Pirollo is just B.S.
Joshua Vantard wrote on the TechCrunch blog:
Michael Williams from Facebook skeptically wrote:
Susan Ryan from Facebook wrote:
Flawed Model of The Scholly Scholarship App
In my opinion, the Scholly Scholarship App has a flawed business model, and is severely limited in scope, originality, and creativity. What’s more, why should a financially-strapped student have to pay any sort of fee for a service that is free elsewhere? After-all, students, and parents can find numerous scholarships, grants, and financial-aid directly on the websites of scholarship search services as well as on the website of National Academy of American Scholars. I have found no legitimate or worthwhile reason why the Scholly Scholarship App should have a fee for a self-functioning software app when numerous other tech services that deliver far greater value are completely free. Why not charge for email, voicemail,cameras. video, text, etc?
The reasons offered by the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App for charging a fee do not pass the smell test. In fact, it is hard not to believe any motive for the 99 cents other than to simply profit off of the millions of Americans, women, cash-strapped moms, and students that are seeking scholarships, grants, and financial-aid while not offering them a product or service that is indispensable. The Scholly Scholarship App is certainly dispensable. The functions of The Scholly Scholarship App can be duplicated and improved via numerous free, and inexpensive means, as well as a reliable mobile or desktop website.
Deceptive Marketing Tactics of The Scholly Scholarship App
According to Tech Crunch, one of the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App, African-American Christopher Gray, won $1.3 million in scholarships to attend college. These scholarships allegedly include the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Coca Cola Scholarship, AXA Achievement Scholarship, and the Horatio Alger Scholarship. My questions are: 1. What student needs $1.3 million to attend Drexel University? 2. What does the amount of his scholarship winnings have to do with the features, functions, and services of The Scholly Scholarship App?
Apparently, the not-so-bright interviewers at Tech Crunch left out important questions because their ‘review’ of The Scholly Scholarship App was really just a promotion of an over-hyped product. Some students and parents feel that the main-stream media constantly wants to shove down the throats of consumers their product choices insteasd of the choices of the consumers.
It has become rather common place for new-breed and suspect scholarship operators to boast of the amount of scholarships, grants, and financial-aid that they alledgely won. These boasts typically may be perceived as an attempt to deceive or mislead the public into equating the monetary amount of scholarships won to knowledge, expertise, service, and experience. Even if Bill Gates personally handed each one of the creators of The Scholly Scholarship App a $10 million scholarship, no amount of this $30 million figure would reflect upon the features, functions, quality of services of The Scholly Scholarship App. Neither does the $30 million in scholarships equates to intelligence, ethics, integrity, and neither can any scholarship amount replace years of experience. How does the amount of the scholarships won by Christopher Gray relate to the quality of the product or service of The Scholly Scholarship App? Answer: there is no relationship.
It also should be noted that the $1.3 million worth of scholarships alledgly won by the creator of The Scholly Scholarship App was not a result of the app itself; once again, the low-quality review by Tech Crunch magazine was largely promotional hype rather than a legitimate consumer review.
Another prominent issue of The Scholly Scholarship App is that the creators fail to disclose if The Scholly Scholarship App is Native vs. Hybrid. Consumers should be made aware of this important distinction. If the app is a hybrid app, which means the back-end coding is minimal HTML code and wrapped inside Native code, then the 99 cents is clearly not worth it.
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: No Trademark for The Scholly Scholarship App
The review by Tech Crunch of The Scholly Scholarship App is so limited in scope and detail that it appears that a middle-school student wrote the review. The Internet has spawned illegitimately named ‘Financial-Aid Experts’ and online companies claiming to write so-called ‘reviews’ that are really poorly disguised promotional hype or even paid promotions.
Clearly, this independent professional review of The Scholly Scholarship App is not an article that the creators would want to pay for and have published.
In conducting a recent research of the database of the United States Patent & Trademark Office, I have not located any evidence that the operators of The Scholly Scholarship App have filed a patent or trademark for The Scholly Scholarship App. The lack of a trademark application or pending patent associated with The Scholly Scholarship App suggests that the creators are not serious, or have not produced any original works, and that The Scholly Scholarship App does not merit the prestige of tademark protection. The creators of The Scholly Scholarship App may be able to convince Tech Crunch and naive members of the main-stream of the suitability of The Scholly Scholarship App but the creators cannot convince experienced scholarship sponsors or any official U.S. Governmental agency.
Edvisors, Inc. hired a professional attorney to file a trademark application for the term Scholarship Points only to realize that the term does not merit recognition as a trademark. I published an article about this issue before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office ultimately rejected the legal argument of Scholarsip Points. Instead of paying a for-profit attorney legal fees Edvisors, Inc could have relied upon my free legal analysis.
I am not sure why any investor(s) would invest in a product (e.g., The Scholly Scholarship App) that has no legal protection of its dominant brand-name.
Is the Scholly Scholarship App A Scam since it Costs Money?
Is the Scholly Scholarship App A Scam? On January 24, 1996, FinAid Page, Inc. owner, self-professed Financial-Aid Expert, Mark Kantrowitz, was quoted as saying "Beware of any ‘scholarship’ (scholarship product) which requests an application fee " On February 8, 1996, the President of the Boston chapter of the Better Business Bureau, stated:"Any time you have to pay money to get money for a scholarship, you should be wary." The consumer division of the Federal Trade Commission makes discreet but direct warnings against paying even a penny for scholarships, and scholarship information, directly or indirectly.
According to alleged Financial-Aid Expert, Mr. Mark Kantrowitz, his top four rules of thumb for ascertaining scholarships scams are as follows:
Credibility of Mark Kantrowitz as a Financial-Aid Expert, and affects on the Scholly Scholarship App
It is the responsibility of the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App to deduce and investigate the credibility of media-appointed Financial-Aid Experts that declare their products or services as suggestive of a scam. However, I will add this brief note: According to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Corporations, FinAid Page Inc., only became a legal entity as of July 2,1996, and yet a President of a Better Business Bureau chapter was quoting him PRIOR to his business even being official and incorporated! Not only that, this same person was publishing his non-sense financial-aid theories on perfectly valid and legitimate scholarship procedures that had preceded his own birth as well as the existence of his FinAid Page.
Many Americans have little faith in the credibility of the main-stream media and understand that the main-stream media has no legal right or privilege to indoctrinate a person as an ‘expert’ in a field or profession without valid legal certification of that title. I have found no government-issued legal certification or judicial record of Mark Kantrowitz being certified as a Financial-Aid Expert. His use of this title may even be violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.
Without delving into much detail, I will only add that there are serious questions about the credibility of Mr. Mark Kantrowitz as a legitimate ‘Financial-Aid Expert’. Therefore, if one is relying upon advice or documentation from Mr. Kantrowitz or the main-stream media then I would caution the consumer to seek a review of the Scholly Scholarship App from independent sources. When the main-stream media apppoints a person as an expert in a field or profession in which that person has not clearly earned that distinction then the public should hold their appointed expert to the fire of scrutiny.
Scholarship Products that Charge Fees like The Scholly Scholarship App
Contrary to the misleading and deceptive statements of certain so-called experts about the suitability of fees, numerous prominent and established organizations like The National Association for Advancement in the Arts, The Educational Communications Scholarship Foundation, The American Society of Interior Designers, The National Student Nurses Association, America’s National Teenager Scholarship, and hundreds of other organizations have been charging and assessing scholarship application fees ranging from as low $2 to over $35 well before self-professed experts had incorporated FinAid Page, Inc. These organizations are performing a labor-intensive effort of selecting suitable scholarship applicants.
There is no doubt that the Scholly Scholarship App qualifies as a Scam under the theories of certain critics. However, this does not mean that the Scholly Scholarship App is a scam. The Scholly Scholarship App does, however, suggest a scheme to make money off those desperately seeking financial-aid help. One of the purposes of this review of the Scholly Scholarship App is to review the app itself as well as influences on its credibilty. Unfortunately, since the main-stream relies so heaviliy upon quotes, and discussions from suspect critics, and provides such persons such a wide platform of free publicity, it is necessary to investigate their credibility as well as the subject of the review.
Better Alternatives to The Scholly Scholarship App: NAAS Scholarship App.
As a general rule of thumb, beware of mobile apps that have names that are not legally protected, or on file with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office because such products may be copycats. The NAAS Scholarship App is currently in production, testing, and review. It will feature all of the characteristics of the Scholly Scholarship App, but do much more. Unlike the limitations of the Scholly Scholarship App, it will be a fast, native scholarship application, and accomodate all persons seeking scholarships, grants, and financial-aid. The NAAS Scholarship App, code-named Project X1, will be one of the greatest and most impactful Scholarship Apps in the history of the United States of America. It will first be promoted to NAAS Scholarship Club members, and then to the general public. Reviewers of this article are urged to register with the NAAS Scholarship Club for a free download.
One of the salient features of the NAAS Scholarship App is that students will be able to apply for actual scholarships directly from their mobile phones. Numerous partners have already been recruited, and Scholarship Club members will be able to take advantage of the numerous benefits, privileges, and services, and features for FREE!
Yes, the NAAS Scholarship App will be completely for FREE because searching for scholarships should be free.
We urge students, undergraduates, to join the NAAS Scholarship Club for free updates, and to receive a free download of the NAAS Scholarship App when is is available.
Summary review of The Scholly Scholarship App
The blockbuster film Enter the Dragon produced in 1973, and starring Bruce Lee was a spectacular success. Like the Easley National Scholarships of 1988, it had all of the right components for success: originality, uniqueness, and a great cast. Enter the Dragon had a scene that reminds me of the boastful claims of the $1.3 million scholarships allegedly won by one of the creators of The Scholly Scholarship App. The scene was when actor Robert Wall, who played O’Hara, placed a stack of bricks before the face of Kung Fu star Bruce Lee. O’Hara then punched the bricks into pieces while Bruce Lee simply watched. This act of apparent strength would have impressed the simple-minded and naive, as well as the many persons writing rave reviews of The Scholly Scholarship App.
Bruce Lee, however, had higher standards. Bruce Lee was not amused by this bloated show of strength. Bruce Lee responded: “Boards Don’t Hit Back“. Within moments, Bruce Lee methodically kicked, punched, blocked, and defeated O’Hara in a martial arts scene that made Enter the Dragon as the greatest Martial Arts film of its era. The viewing audience was taught the farce of O’Hara’s showmanship .
The U.S. main-stream media lost its credibility years ago. Few people believe and rely upon recommendations, opinions, and advice of the main-stream media. The Scholly Scholarship App has been ‘reviewed’ by such main stream media as Tech Crunch, USA Today, TV Station KSDK of Saint Louis, and television reporters who have no clue what a mobile scholarship app should do.
Although the simple writers of Tech Crunch and main-stream media representatives may be impressed by the so-called Million Dollar Scholar and The Scholly Scholarship App, my response is: What can The Scholly Scholarship App do for students, minorities, women, and adults seeking financial-aid, scholarships, and grants; and, why should any student pay a download fee for a service that is free elsewhere?
What can The Scholly Scholarship App do for me Christopher Gray? More importantly, what can The Scholly Scholarship App do for the 20,000 Scholarship club members of National Academy of American Scholars? How many purchasers of The Scholly Scholarship App have won $1.3 million dollars in scholarships? More specifically, how many purchasers of The Scholly Scholarship App have won ANY scholarships that they could not find anywhere else? ?
There appears to be no feature or service within the Scholly Scholarship that is either unique, novel, original, or cannot be easily replicated by a well functioning mobile website. Is the Scholly Scholarship App native or original?
Although I admire the entreprenurial spirt of the kids who created The Scholly Scholarship App, I am far from impressed with the features, lack of creativity, lack of disclosures, and functions of the Scholly Scholarship App.
It is my opinion that The Scholly Scholarship App is another over-hyped product my misinformed members of the media desperately seeking to apply “success” to virtually any product or service produced by or affiliated with certain groups and/or certain persons. For example, read my critical review of Black Girls Code, and the fact that I have yet to receive the requested tax returns verifiying the legitimacy of this alleged tax exempt group, and neither has the founder Kimbery Bryant answered a single one of my questions.
My recommendation to creators of the Scholly Scholarship App is to: Go to a Midwest or West-Coast School (just joking) and learn how to apply your degree in the real world. Becoming a Scholarship Entrepreneur is not what the world needs. We need engineering, science, and medical talent. Leave scholarship tasks to the persons with 15 or more years of experience.
For the reasons above, I issue a letter grade of ‘F’ for the Scholly Scholarship App. I would not recommend The Scholly Scholarship App product or service to any student. No student simply searching for scholarships, grants, and/or financial-aid should be taxed a fee disguised as a purchase in any form, manner, or way. Wait for the free NAAS Scholarship App. It will be well worth it. Register now for FREE DOWNLOADS.
Ron Thomas, Professional Freelance Scholarship Blogger
Special Correspondent to National Academy of American Scholars.
Note: The views and opinions herein are my own and do not reflect the opinions of any other person or organization(s).