Scholarship search services are a big industry for parents who are desperate to land a scholarship for their students. So naturally, the industry attracts its share of scammers and fraudsters. It is estimated that more than 350,000 students and families fall prey to these scams every year. The legitimate scholarship search firms can be very effective in widening your search, but as you begin to look into these types of services, keep your eye out for these popular scams:
Upfront Payments: Never pay an application processing fee or send any money upfront. And most definitely do not provide any bank or credit card information. It doesn’t cost money to submit a scholarship application, so if you are asked for upfront money, it is probably a scam. Do your due diligence. There are plenty of free scholarship search organizations you can work with that don’t require any fees.
Guaranteed Results: There are no guarantees when it comes to winning scholarships. If you are offered a refund if a scholarship isn’t granted, it is probably a scam. Remember the previous rule – no upfront payments.
“We do the work for you”: Yes, there is a lot of work involved in researching and applying for scholarships, so an offer to take that off your hands is tempting. It doesn’t matter though, because you must still apply for scholarships yourself.
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