NATIONAL REPORT—Graduate Hotels has partnered with scholarship search app Scholly to give back to the college towns in which its properties reside with the intent to provide $150,000 of student and alumni debt relief.
“This is an incredibly important cause that our team has been eager to support since the founding of Graduate. This marks the beginning of an ongoing effort on behalf of the Graduate Hotels brand to provide student loan relief,” said Julie Saunders, chief marketing officer, Graduate Hotels.
Debt relief is a hot-button topic and it’s an issue that hits close to home for the team at Graduate Hotels.
“At Graduate Hotels our motto is ‘We are all students.’ We are thrilled to team up with Scholly and offer guests and visitors the opportunity to give back to students and alumni in need of aid,” said Saunders.
Scholly started as an easy way to find scholarships for college and has evolved into much more. A Scholly membership includes access to its platform of tools designed to help support the student before, during and after college. Parents and other academic professionals can use Scholly to help support their students, too.
“Scholly received the nation’s attention and adoration when it was featured on the ABC television show Shark Tank, landing a deal with entrepreneurs Daymond John and Lori Greiner while sparking the biggest fight in Shark Tank history,” said Scholly CEO Christopher Gray. “Shortly thereafter, Scholly grew to be the number-one overall app in both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store for more than three weeks. As of September, the app reached more than three million registered users and helped countless students and families to raise more than $100 million in scholarship money to go to the colleges of their dreams.”
Americans owed about $1.5 trillion in student loans at the end of March, more than two times what they owed a decade earlier, according to Scholly. “The increase has come as historically high shares of young adults in the United States go to college and the cost of higher education increases,” said Gray.
The team at Graduate Hotels is tapping local university communities to help fundraise for this effort, and they’re using creative ways to reach their goal of supporting students and alumni in need.
“Our hotels are located in dynamic, university-anchored communities across the country,” said Saunders. “We are tapping each of our markets and asking for their help as we aim to provide relief. From workout classes to offering guests the chance to donate upon checkout, we have created simple and accessible ways for everyone, from students to hotel guests, to give back.”
“The bottom line is that paying for college is hard. There is free money for college out there waiting to be won, and Scholly helps that money find you,” said Gray.
As a Scholly member, students will gain access to all of Scholly’s products. Scholly Search, Editor and Math work together to help students thrive at every stage of their academic journey.
“The app’s adaptive scholarship matching engine, Scholly Search, will connect students with scholarships tailored just for them,” said Gray. “Scholly Search turns the process of finding money for college from months into minutes. Scholly Editor, an artificial intelligence-powered personal writing assistant, will instantly proofread and improve any piece of writing, including the student scholarship essays, resumes, homework and more. Scholly Math, a powerful AI math solver, instantly interprets and solves any math problem, providing clear, step-by-step instructions for how to get the answer.”
Gray believes more can be done to provide financial relief to students and alumni dealing with educational loan debt.
“Graduate Hotels showed its enthusiasm and commitment to students and alumni, raising awareness to a major problem the United States is facing: student debts,” said Gray. “We are confident that we can achieve more and would love to partner with other hospitality leaders to continue changing lives, and start a social-impact movement where capital can be allocated for good. Together, we can offer an opportunity for all.”