Around hundreds and thousands of college students and their parents are scammed. This scam money amounts over $100 million each year. Thus, if you’re looking for some free money to make your college studies possible then make sure that you avoid scholarship scams. There are many con people and scammers out there who take advantage of your money requirements and flee away.
Consider the following tips to avoid scholarship scams.
- If the scholarship demands some application fees, then it’s a clear indication of a fake scholarship. There are many institutions that offer scholarships and do not ask for any money. Remember, the aim of the scholarship is to give money not receiving it.
- Stay away from the companies that offer to search college scholarships for you. You can search for many scholarships online or by contacting your current school. Most of the schools and local community colleges have the databases of colleges providing scholarship.
- Keep in mind that no scholarship can be guaranteed or no scholarship can offer ‘money back guarantee’. If a company claims such promises stay away from it.
- Read the contract carefully and make sure that you have applied for a scholarship not a loan. Scholarships are free whereas loans need to be paid back. Remember, genuine educational loans do not require upfront fees.
- You need to apply for the scholarship and submit the applications on your own. If you receive an email, a letter or a call from someone who is offering you scholarship that you have never applied for, then it indicates a scholarship scam.
- Be wary of scholarship seminars. These are actually sales tactics and their real purpose is to pay for financial aid consulting, insurance, loans etc.
- There are scholarship companies which claim anyone can apply, guaranteed winnings, unclaimed money and similar stuff. These are the clues that the scholarships are not legitimate.
- Make sure that you fill the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year. This requires no fees and the application can be filled on their website fafsa.ed.gov.
Make sure to research completely about the scholarships you apply for. There is a high college pressure due to the college costs, so make sure that you don’t fall into any trap and regret afterwards.