“Our goal is to help students get free money and help reduce student debt.”

Christopher Gray

A member at Pyramid Club, Philadelphia, since 2012

BY ALEX ETHRIDGE / PHOTO BY GENE SMIRNOV — Fall 2016

Who he is: The 24-year-old co-founder and CEO of Scholly, a smartphone application that helps match students with viable scholarships. The app has been downloaded more than 600,000 times since its creation in 2013 and has helped students secure more than $30 million in aid.

Humble beginnings: Gray’s single mother lost her job during the 2008 recession, when he was a high school junior. He knew scholarships were the only way he could avoid racking up a mountain of student-loan debt for his higher education.

Personal experience: His own search for financial aid inspired the idea for Scholly. He found the process unnecessarily tedious as he waded through a multitude of scholarships, many of which were expired, only for certain students, or scams.

Young CEO: Earlier this year, Gray’s accomplishments earned him a spot on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list.

Next phase: Scholly just launched a loan-refinancing program to help graduates reduce the interest rates on their student loans, which will save them thousands of dollars over time.

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