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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blogger Rates The Scholly Scholarship App an 'F'

Blogger Rates The Scholly Scholarship App an 'F'

The Scholly Scholarship App has received an excessive amount of media publicity as of late. The Scholly Scholarship App has received main-stream media attention as well as attention from students, parents, and educators since it was launched in or about May of 2013. The Scholly Scholarship App is a mobile application that presumably searches for scholarships, grants, and financial-aid based upon pre-set options of the resident state a scholarship applicant lives in; the race of the scholarship applicant; the GPA of the scholarship applicant; the gender of the Scholarship applicant; the major of the scholarship applicant; and, the grade of the scholarship applicant.

The Scholly Scholarship App also has a processing or purchase fee. According to media critics, and the FTC, consumers should be cautious because the fee is suggestive of a scholarship scam. However, is The Scholly Scholarship App really a scam? Are the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App intentionally trying to take advantage of students and parent's frantic search for scholarships by requiring a 'fee' for information that is already in the public domain, or is the Scholly Scholarship App providing a useful service that merits a fee?

The Scholly Scholarship App: Rising Tuition, Student-Debt, and Greed Increases Scholarship Entrepreneurs

With virtually no experience in the administration, management, or development of scholarship search, scholarship administration, or scholarship selection protocols, the new millennium of 2000 has witnessed a surge of Scholarship Entrepreneurs. Skeptics have referred to these new-breed scholarship entrepreneurs 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 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 upon the 'expert' advice of Mark Kantrowitz, and the FTC, one may certainly consider or regard The Scholly Scholarship App as a scam. However, such a conclusion may be too premature. Read on!!

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, and 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 scholarship information, directly or indirectly.

According to Kantrowitz, his top four rules of thumb for ascertaining scholarship scams are as follows:

  1. If you must pay money to get money, it might be a scam.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Spend the time, not the money.
  4. Never invest more than a postage stamp to get information about scholarships.

By way of the FTC, the Better Business Bureau, and the theories of self-proclaimed Financial-Aid Expert Mark Kantrowotz, it is a perfectly legitimate and reasonable question to ask: Is the Scholly Scholarship App a Scam? If you accept the above-stated rules of thumb, and the FTC opinions, then the unmistakable conclusion is that the Scholly Scholarship App is highly suggestive of a scam and that the Scholly Scholarship App has certain characteristics of a scam.

I emphasize that these rules of thumb do not necessarily mean or imply that the Scholly Scholarship App is a scam. The download, purchase, or app processing fee is a red-flag that should be considered as a caution to consumers or educators. In fact, the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App have a legal right to assess a processing, purchase, or download fee to their mobile scholarship application if they opt to pursue that option.

At the same time, however, moms, women, educators, and students have a legal choice to ignore the Scholly Scholarship App. Consumers have choices. The Scholly Scholarship App creators have choices, and their choice was to require hard-working, financially-strapped students, to pay a download, purchase, or processing fee for simple information that is already in the public domain. Their choice could have been to perform a noble public service and allow the app to be free.

Inferior Reviews of the Scholly Scholarship App by Unqualified Reporters.

The inadequate, inferior, and mind-numbing reviews of The Scholly Scholarship App are more impressive than the app itself. Let me cite some examples. Julia Craven of the USA TODAY, a Collegiate Correspondent wrote a review of the Scholly Scholarship App that makes one wonder Why. Who, and How she got hired for U.S.A. Today. For example, consider this article dialogue:

"The fact that it's on the mobile (phone) really hits the audience," says Soham Bhonsle, 21, a Scholly user and Drexel University senior. "It serves the need of its time. We want it on the go." 

"Pay 99 cents and you may get $5,000 or $6,000 in scholarships," Soham Bhonsle says.

The app potentially has a huge payoff, Soham Bhonsle says.

Essentially, the entire article is a one-sided promotion of a suspicious product or service with virtually no written content or objective questions being asked by or written by the U.S.A. Today reporter. Neither did the U.S.A. Today reporter deduce whether or not Soham Bhonsle is a valid independent critic to interview, and neither did the U.S.A. Today reporter question his relationship to either the app or its creators.

If you analyze the key phrases spoken by Soham Bhonsle, they are suggestive of a scam. He said: "Pay 99 cents and you may get $5,000 or $6,000 in scholarships." Why didn't he say you may get a $100 or $200 scholarship? His statements may legally be interpreted as an inducement to pay (or gamble) the .99 cents in hopes of winning a large scholarship pay-off although he provides no disclaimer of how many users have won $5,000 or or $6,000 before, and neither did he offer ANY statistics.

The article review by U.S.A. Given her questionable employment credentials. U.S.A. Today Reporter Julia Craven never challenged that statement, and the same statement remains posted on the U.S.A. Today page by U.S.A. Today Reporter Julia Craven.

The app potentially has a huge payoff, Soham Bhonsle says. True. The app has a potentially large pay-off for its creators, but I doubt any student will find a legitimate scholarship listed by the Scholly Scholarship App that they can't find elsewhere for absolutely free.

Dana Dean, a reporter with KSDK News Channel 5 in St. Louis, MO, scripted a poorly produced video review of the Scholly Scholarship App. While discussing the features of the app, she attempts to zoom in on the app but the camera lacks the proper focus, and the image appears fuzzy; like her brain, I suppose. Instead of asking important questions that real consumers, not shrills, want to hear, she goes on and on endorsing every aspect of a suspicious product without providing any meaningful investigative content.

Apparently, Dana Dean never bothered to read the FTC memo on scholarship scams. That could possibly be explained by a lapse of the atoms, molecules, and neurons gathered in the cerebral cortex region of her brain, or another explanation could be that she simply was not qualified to discuss the topic that she was discussing. Ask Dana Dean to explain the characteristics of various quadric surfaces, identify their symmetries, and determine the character of the plane sections that are perpendicular to their axes, and most likely Dana Dean will fumble the answer.

Neither Dana Dean nor U.S.A. Today Reporter Julia Craven are qualified to either write a review of any scholarship program, any scholarship app, or any financial-aid product or service, just like they are not qualified to provide investment advice to a multi-millionaire; which of course, he/she would most likely not hire either one.

Better Alternatives to The Scholly Scholarship App: NAAS Scholarship App.

Register for Free NAAS Mobile Scholarship App Downloads

As a general rule of thumb, beware of mobile apps or hyped-media products that have names that are not legally protected, or on file with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office because such products may be copycats. I have found no record that the creators of The Scholly Scholarship App have filed any legal notices with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office affirming their right to use Scholly Scholarship App name.

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 it is available.

Why The Scholly Scholarship App Deserves an 'F' Grade

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? The creators of the Scholly Scholarship App do not disclose that information. There is too much missing information.

Although I admire the entrepreneurial spirit 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.

For university graduates of an NCAA school (Drexel University) to create a product that merely duplicates public information and transfers it to a mobile platform and expect the public to endorse the product (via a purchase fee) is outrageous and juvenile. A teenage drop-out can produce a better product.

Scholly Scholarship App Creators are Graduates from Drexel University

The creators of the Scholly Scholarship App are graduates of Drexel University. The main-stream media would have you believe that Drexel University is in the same class of distinction and prestige of an NCAA Division I university. In fact, Fox News and other media channels have named Drexel University in articles and reported that for-profit colleges "dubious training have led massive portions of students to default on their student-loans."

As I stated above, The Scholly Scholarship App lacks the tell-tale signs that it was created by a Division I graduate of a prestigious university like Purdue University, Harvard, M.I.T., Cal-Tech, etc. Drexel University has a for-profit component with the exact same name; what a brilliant idea??!

It is not clear if the creators of The Scholly Scholarship App received their degees and training from the for-profit Drexel University or the private Drexel University. If the Scholly Scholarship App creators received their training from a for-profit school then they are in the same league as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan, etc. Being graduates from a for-profit school would explain a lot of things, including the decision of Drexel University to delete a reference of this article from their FaceBook timeline that several students had already 'liked'; and, the fact that the Scholly Scholarship App is so lacking in creativity, originality, and why the creators are banking on this app -- instead of their Drexel University "degrees"--- to fuel their career.

Explanation of Grade 'F' to the Scholly Scholarship App

It is my opinion that The Scholly Scholarship App is another over-hyped product by misinformed and unqualified members of the media desperately seeking to apply "success" to virtually any product or service produced by or affiliated with young college kids or young college adults. For example, read my critical review of Black Girls Code, and the fact that I have yet to receive the requested tax returns verifying 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: 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, and more, 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.
My Commercial Rates: $250/hr.
Note: The views and opinions herein are my own and do not reflect the opinions of any other person or organization(s).
Register for Free NAAS Mobile Scholarship App Downloads

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