Our Story

The backstory behind Scholarful

When Rhea and Cole met during their freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania, they quickly bonded over a shared passion for creating equitable access to education.

They found that their fellow peers – and generation as a whole – were being forced to take on copious amounts of debt in exchange for a college degree, something that seemed like an unfair trade.

Why do people go to college? For most, it is to pursue economic mobility. A college degree opens the door to better jobs, better opportunities, and a better life. But the doors that are supposed to be opened with a degree are being slammed shut by student debt.

Today, student debt is at an all-time high, affecting 1 in every 8 Americans. It is cited as the #1 reason why recent college graduates are not…

  • Purchasing a home
  • Getting married
  • Starting a family

…and so much more.

But what if we could prevent students from taking on such crippling debt in the first place?

To tackle this question, Rhea and Cole built Scholarful, the first ever all-in-one scholarship platform where students can quickly find and apply for the roughly $12B in private scholarships available.

“We believe that if students have streamlined access to scholarships, they will be in a position where they can take on less debt, and embark upon a brighter financial future.”

– Rhea and Cole
Rhea Saggi

Rhea teaching English to schoolchildren in her family’s native town of Jalandhar, India

Cole Mattox

Cole teaching financial literacy to underserved high school students in Philadelphia, PA