How do you know if a scholarship search is legitimate?
Look for the following signs that a scholarship search may be a scam:
"This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
No one can guarantee that you'll get a scholarship. Refund guarantees often have conditions or strings attached. Get refund policies in writing before you pay.
"You can't get this information anywhere else."
There are many free lists of scholarships available. Check with the Financial Aid Office or the library before you decide to pay someone to do the work for you.
"May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?"
No! Don't give out your credit card or bank account number on the phone without getting information in writing first. It may be a set-up for an unauthorized withdrawal from your account.
"We'll do all the work."
Don't be fooled. There's no way around it. You must apply for scholarships or grants yourself.
"The scholarship will cost some money."
Don't pay anyone who claims to be "holding" a scholarship or grant for you. Scholarships shouldn't cost a thing.
"You've been selected by a 'national foundation' to receive a scholarship" or "You're a finalist in a contest" (that you never entered).
Before you send money to apply for a scholarship, check it out. Make sure the foundation or program is legitimate.
For additional information regarding scholarship scams, please check the Student Aid on the Web.
To find out how to spot, stop and report a scholarship scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at P.O. Box 996, Washington, DC 20580, or call the National Fraud Information Center, 1-800-876-7060.