The Problem

With the recent college admissions scandal, a lot of attention has been placed on "elite" institutions and their admissions processes; not as much thought has been given to the fact that for most Americans, college is not the most prestigious college I can get into but can I go to college at all?.

What keeps many Americans from attending college? The vast majority of Americans can't afford college tuition without some sort of aid, creating a dilemma: do I spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on college, or get a job and support my family? This shouldn't have to be a choice young adults have to make; there are millions of dollars in scholarships waiting to be discovered.

The Solution

Scholarbird helps you discover scholarships through a UI that's actually nice to use. Users can filter scholarships by criteria (GPA, gender, etc.) and save them for later. It runs on Node.js and React, and uses Okta for authentication. The scholarships are pulled from a Google Sheet using API.

It was very important to me that Scholarbird was user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, and I focused a lot on polishing the design - making it professional and intuitive.

Business Value

I've thought of some business plans for Scholarbird which I can see being financially viable:

  • Working with companies/foundations to advertise scholarships, and being paid for each person who applies through Scholarbird
  • Working with high schools, who would pay an annual fee for their students to access the site. This model is quite common in academia (for example, JSTOR, Ebsco, Noodletools, Statista, etc)

What's next for Scholarbird

As someone who is beginning the college applications process (current high school junior), I will be sure to update the database as I find more scholarships. I'm also hoping to add more terms for search criteria over the coming weeks.

I've never used Okta before, and I've only ever used React Native, not React. I built this in about 24 hours and I'm really proud of how far I've come.

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