How to Avoid Scholarship Scams
You can come across some shady websites and programs that are scams when you search for, apply for, and learn more about financial aid. If you’re not careful, you’ll lose time and money to these “too good to be true” scholarship chances.
Students should report potential scholarship scams to the FTC or their state attorney general’s office, advises the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Scholarship fraud may mimic the government or trustworthy institutions in an effort to appear “official.” The promise of receiving money through the FAFSA or other legitimate financial assistance forms is made by various scholarship frauds.
You can avoid falling victim to these scholarship frauds, though, if you look out for several obvious indicators.
Learn more about these red flags in the paragraphs that follow to determine if a scholarship is genuine or not.
A big red flag is if a scholarship application asks you to send in an “application fee” or a “processing fee.” Scholarships that are legitimate will never need you to send in any payment! The amount of money raised by scholarships that charge an application fee will be enormous, and only a small portion will be returned in the form of a “scholarship.”
Paying for “special” access
University of Auckland is giving the School of Medical Sciences Overseas Masters Scholarship with the primary objective of luring fresh, highly qualified international students to enroll in a masters-level study for one or two years at the sch.https://t.co/supSm9cz80— Elena Camilla (@ElenaCamilla3) June 30, 2022
If a scholarship website claims to have “exclusive” or “preferred” access, it should raise a red alert. Most likely, the people who claim to have exclusive access to scholarships are lying to you.
Applications that ask for your sensitive financial information
You should be suspicious of any application that requests any personal financial information, much like application fees. Any reputable scholarship won’t request your banking or credit card details.
Be aware that some reputable scholarships could require information on the FAFSA. If a student ever has any doubts about the legitimacy of a scholarship, they can always question a teacher, counselor, or college access specialist.
Also Read: Overview of Common Scholarship Essay Prompts
Any scholarship that “guarantees” you a particular result is the final major caution sign. Yes, some institutions will “guarantee” scholarships provided you achieve specific GPA and test score standards, but you should be skeptical of any outside awards that promise anything.
What should you do if a scholarship scam is discovered?
So, what happens if you become a victim of one of the aforementioned scholarship scams? What should you do?
You shouldn’t, to start with, apply for the scholarship. Stop what you’re doing if you’re filling out an application and you see an application fee. Don’t finish the application any further.
To stop other students from falling victim to fraud, you can also report possible scholarship scams.
How should you proceed if you applied for a dubious scholarship?
Throughout the United States, low-income students from all backgrounds are supported by the QuestBridge scholarship program. The QuestBridge scholarship is consequently among the top need-based awards for high school students.https://t.co/mAbI1BdZoR— Elena Camilla (@ElenaCamilla3) June 30, 2022
There is still hope if you’ve already submitted an application for a scholarship that raises questions. Students who think they may be the target of a scholarship scam might benefit from the FTC’s helpful recommendations. We strongly advise that you visit the FTC website to learn more about how to deal with scams and your next steps.
Scams involving scholarships are a serious possibility while looking for financial aid. It is advisable to be informed of the typical strategies these con artists employ. Generally speaking, you should trust your instinct and conduct an additional investigation if something about a scholarship doesn’t feel right or if it appears “too good to be true.”
Conducting your scholarship search through vetted scholarship lists is one of the greatest strategies to prevent scholarship scammers. Using the scholarship search engine on Scholarships360, you can browse our database of possibilities that are specific to your needs. Our crew, which consists of experts with vast expertise in higher education as well as current and former college students, creates all of our lists.