Scholly Returning to ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ for Company Update on March 15


Scholly Founder Chris Gray Along With Sallie Mae’s Donna Vieira Join Shark Tank Investors Daymond John and Lori Greiner To Celebrate Success of Innovative Scholarship App

Update Includes $1 Million Contribution from The Sallie Mae Fund to Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Scholarships for Two Students from Bayside High School in Queens

NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Scholly founder Chris Gray is returning to where his unique journey as an entrepreneur began – ABC’s hit television show ‘Shark Tank’ – for an update on his company’s resounding success in connecting students across the country to millions of dollars in scholarships for college. In addition to reconnecting with Shark Tank investors Daymond John and Lori Greiner, Chris is joined by Sallie Mae’s Chief Commercial Officer Donna Vieira to highlight the education solutions company’s recent acquisition of Scholly.

During Chris’ first visit to ‘Shark Tank’ back in 2015, Daymond and Lori invested to further develop his innovative Scholly app that connects students to scholarships based on their skills and interests. That pitch led to one of the most tension-filled and memorable debates between the panel of Sharks in the show’s history.

For this year’s update, Chris and Donna traveled to Queens to meet Daymond at his alma mater, Bayside High School. After touring the school and meeting with students, they announced two $10,000 scholarships to seniors Giselle Rodriguez and Amir Theodile, and a $1 million commitment to Thurgood Marshall College Fund – through The Sallie Mae Fund – to support scholarships to help students from underserved communities access and complete higher education.

“Returning to ‘Shark Tank’ truly represents a full-circle moment for me and for Scholly,” said Scholly founder Chris Gray who himself won $1.3 million in scholarships on his way to Drexel University. “From a first-generation college student from Birmingham, Alabama to entrepreneur, to ‘Shark Tank’ alum, and now to part of the Sallie Mae family, it has been a unique, challenging, and rewarding journey but what makes me especially proud is how many dreams of higher education we’ve helped make a reality through Scholly.”

“The biggest reason why I've stayed committed to ‘Shark Tank’ for the past 15 seasons is to help support the entrepreneurs and companies that are going to make an impact in this world,” said Daymond John, fashion and branding expert and ‘Shark Tank’ investor in Scholly. “With this partnership of Scholly and Sallie Mae, I'm really excited to support them as they change millions of people's lives. Chris created a resource in Scholly that empowers our next generation of future leaders like Giselle and Amir. Teaming up with Sallie Mae will only expand access to higher education. I was thrilled to invest in Scholly and in Chris, and together with Sallie Mae, I’m confident they will revolutionize how students discover and tap into free and unclaimed scholarships for college.”

“When Chris came into the tank, I knew immediately I wanted in to support such a worthy and needed product that truly helps students and families. As a Shark investor and mentor, I couldn’t think of a more worthy cause to invest in and support. The growing struggles with student loan debt and affording a college education are painfully real for so many; I thought Scholly was a brilliant solution and I was all in! I’m thrilled with the Sallie Mae acquisition, which is not only lifechanging for Chris, but for millions of hopeful college students across the country. I'm honored to have been involved in this mission to support the company's evolution and help others. Scholly is leveling the playing field for millions of students around the country," said Lori Greiner, entrepreneur, inventor and ‘Shark Tank’ investor.

Since Sallie Mae’s acquisition, Scholly is now free for all students and families. Now known as Scholly by Sallie, the app has provided access to more than $100M in scholarships.

“Welcoming Scholly and Chris to the Sallie Mae family represents the evolution of Sallie Mae as an education solutions company,” said Donna Vieira, Chief Commercial Officer, Sallie Mae. “We are here for students, powering confidence throughout their entire journey and helping them access scholarships for free through Scholly can go a long way in making higher education more accessible and affordable.”

For more information visit and download Scholly for free in App store or on Google Play. Watch ‘Shark Tank’ Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to support access to college and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, happen. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Category: Corporate and Financial

Rick Castellano 302-451-2541

Source: Sallie Mae

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