Watch Out! (A Warning About Scholarship Scams)

This article can help you avoid illegitimate scholarships and scholarship search services.

There are many places out there that will let you search large databases of scholarships for those that meet your needs, but you have to be careful. Some of these are not legitimate, and many of them will take your money if you're not careful. You can ask your guidance counselor for suggestions, but if you want to go looking on your own, here a few warning signs that a scholarship or a scholarship search service may not be completely legitimate:

  • You have to give credit card or bank account information.
  • The application costs money.
  • The mailing address is a residential address rather than a place of business.
  • The service guarantees results--no one can guarantee that you'll receive a particular scholarship.
Before you apply for any scholarship you haven't heard of:
  • Check with the local Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no complaints filed against the party in question. (Their website is www.bbb.com.)
  • If the scholarship comes from a national foundation, make sure the foundation exists.
  • Check with your school and your guidance counselor to see if anyone has heard of this scholarship or organization.

Getting through College without Going Broke From Getting through College without Going Broke by Students Helping Students®. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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