How to Avoid Scholarship Scams
The BBB offers advice to avoid being snared in scholarship traps, recommending that you be suspicious if a representative tells you:
* "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back." In reality no one can guarantee that they will get you a grant or scholarship. And the refund guarantees that are offered usually have so many conditions or strings attached that it is almost impossible for consumers to get their money back.
* "You cannot get this information anywhere else." Actually, scholarship information is widely available in books, from libraries and financial aid offices and on the Internet, if you are willing to search for it.
* "We will do all the work." Only parents and students can really determine and provide the financial information needed to complete the forms.
* "You have been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship." If you have not entered a competition sponsored by the foundation, this claim is highly unlikely.
* "May I have your credit card or back account number to hold this scholarship?" This is never a requirement for a legitimate scholarship offer.
* "The scholarship will cost some money." Legitimate scholarship offers never require payment of any kind.
For more advice and information on how to avoid scholarship and grant fraud, and for objective Reliability Reports on companies in the financial aid industry, go to www.bbb.org.