With so many families looking for scholarship money to offset today’s huge tuition bills, it’s more important than ever to know the facts.
You see, the number of scholarship scams and frauds are ever-increasing, and the tactics used to separate families from their money have taken on new levels of deception.
Knowing what to look for and how to avoid these scams can be your greatest protection.
Is the scholarship company making “too good to be true” claims?
Some scholarships go as far as to claim they’re sponsored by the Better Business Bureau, government agencies, or specific colleges or universities.
In fact, we’ve seen many fraudulent scholarship companies use names designed to trick families into believing they’re federal agencies and organizations. (A common tactic is using a Washington, D.C. address to “appear” official and gain people’s trust.)
Use great caution here, because no government agency endorses or sponsors any private organization.
In short, the bigger the claim, the faster you should turn away.
But if you do think the scholarship is legitimate, by all means, investigate their claims.
How long has the company been around? Does the company have proof of past winners it will share with you?
Most scholarships have been around for some time, and if they’re legitimate – they’ll answer your questions and provide records assuring their legitimacy.
(Note – not all “new” scholarships are frauds, but you should always ask new companies for references, and get as much factual information upfront as possible.)
“Unclaimed Scholarship Money”
This tactic involves the scam artist marketing a huge amount of money – often in the millions or billions – that went “unclaimed” the previous year.
Do not fall for this! The truth is, there’s not a single legitimate scholarship search that has ever published a list of unclaimed scholarships.
Bogus application fees
Some companies will ask for “application” or “processing” fees, often citing very convincing reasons for doing so.
The reality is, true loan and scholarship resources will never ask for money upfront.
Bottom line: You should never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship.
“First Come, First Served”
This approach baits families into believing they’ll increase their chances of scholarship money if they’re among the “first in.”
This couldn’t be any further from reality. Most times, it’s a trick designed to get people to act quickly and impulsively.
Legitimate scholarships simply don’t give preferential treatment on a first-come, first-served basis.
The bottom line is, if it smells like a scam, there’s a reason. Never be afraid to ask questions, get claims in writing, and do your research.
A little extra diligence and some common sense can go a long way to protecting your money.
A Unique Opportunity
You may not find this opportunity anywhere else in the college planning space.
It’s an “inside look” at your college funding situation with an authorized college funding advisor – absolutely free.
We’ll help you figure out where you stand, including whether or not you can lower your expected family contribution (EFC) – and maximize your eligibility for financial aid. What’s more – you set the date and time for the call.
Sign up for your free, no obligation consultation by following this link.
(It’s important to recognize that individual circumstances and efforts can significantly impact outcomes. Engagement and commitment from both the family and student are indeed crucial factors in achieving positive results. The advice and direction provided by CPN (College Planning Network) and CPF (College Planning Fresno) can serve as valuable guidance, but ultimately, it’s up to the individuals involved to actively participate and implement the recommendations effectively.)