Scholarship Scams?

10 Scam Warning Signs

Courtesy of FastWeb.

Knowing these warning signs can keep you from being a scholarship scam victim.

1. Fees: You shouldn’t have to pay to search for or apply for scholarships. Check out the free scholarship search at
2. Credit card or bank account information needed: You should never have to give credit card or bank account information to award providers.
3. Scholarship guarantee: No one can guarantee that you’ll win a scholarship because no one can control scholarship judges’ decisions. Also, be wary of “high success rates”—they usually do not refer to actual award winners.
4. No work involved: You can’t avoid putting in time to fill out a scholarship application.
5. No contact information: Legitimate sponsors should provide contact information upon request. If the sponsor does not supply a valid e-mail address, phone number and mailing address (not a PO box) after you’ve asked for one, that could the sign of a scam.
6. Unsolicited scholarships: If you are called to receive an award for which you never applied, be alert—it’s most likely a scam.
7. Pressure tactics: Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into applying for a scholarship, especially if the sponsor is asking for money up front.
8. Claims of “exclusive” scholarships: Sponsors don’t make their scholarships available through only one service.
9. Sponsor goes out of their way to sound “official”: Scammers sometimes use official-sounding words like “national,” “education” or “federal” or they display an official-looking seal to fool you into thinking they are legit. Check with your school if you question a scholarship provider’s legitimacy.
10. Your questions aren’t answered directly: If you can’t get a straight answer from a sponsor regarding their application, what will be done with your information or other questions, proceed with caution.

Until next week…

Michael Budnick

PS.  As always, if you have any questions on how you’re going to pay the upcoming astronomical costs of college, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We can walk you through several different payment options to help determine the right one for you.

Leave a Reply