Umpteen number of schools today offer student scholarships. With colleges charging exorbitant fees, parents are looking out for scholarships or financial aid to support their ward’s education. Students are the prime targets for scholarship scams and fall prey due to lack of experience, being vulnerable and desperation.
Learn about a few common student scholarship scams and how to avoid them:
Paying a fee
Most of the scholarship scams ask you to pay an advance fee or some kind of fees like application fees, processing fees, etc. Before you jump into paying, check for legitimacy either on their website or check if the organization sponsoring the scholarship is genuine.
Selecting you for a student scholarship never applied for
In this kind of scholarship scam, initially a congratulations letter is sent, and then upon selection they ask to pay a processing fee. Once the money is paid either, they may initially pay some amount of scholarship and garner your trust or, may just vanish after the payment.
Asking for unexpected details
Scholarship scammers ask to enter specific details. Beware if you are asked for information like credit/debit card details, bank account details, or any other specific identity information. Before entering these details, contact your financial advisor or legitimate authorities to dig into the authenticity of such scholarship.
Educational loan with an advance fee
Scammers offer you educational loans with lower interest rates and ask you to make an advance fee payment. Do not accept this, instead go to the bank and find out how much interest is charged on educational loans and is there any advance fee. Usually, the banks deduct the fees from the disbursement cheque and check if the loan is issued by a bank or a genuine lender.
Scholarship Guarantee Programs
Programs or seminars wherein a scholarship is guaranteed or say that money is refunded if work not done, is purely a scam. Once the amount is collected either the scammers disappear from the scene or send reports of legible scholarships wherein qualifying for the refund is next to impossible.
While attending scholarship seminars, do not be reluctant to purchase from the representatives. Take your time and do your research as legitimate service providers will be more than willing to give their information.
Banking on their testimonials
Scholarship scammers attract students by highlighting their so-called fraudulent customer success stories and testimonials that they would have acquired by paying money. In such cases, ask them to refer to the few local people who were granted scholarships by them or used their services.
Limited period offer
Scammers who pressurize students and parents to enrol and pay now as this offer runs for a limited period are not genuine. Reputable scholarships send messages, alerts and social media updates and do not rush the payment process.
Exclusive access to scholarships
When an organisation approaches you to give information on student scholarships and tell you that this information is not found anywhere else, do not believe them. First, investigate the recognition of the organisation. Talk to some counsellor, official or financial advisor before paying the amount.
Trying to prove their authenticity
Many of the scammers try to prove their authenticity by claiming that they are either recognized or affiliated with some government body, but in reality, government is prohibited from advertising private businesses.
Unclaimed previous scholarships
Many of the scholarship scams say that for decades scholarships have gone unclaimed, which is not true. Every year the number of student scholarship applicants is only increasing and the unclaimed ones cannot be claimed due to certain restrictions.
Parents and students should do a thorough research on the scholarships and their services. If you are still struggling to find the right kind of help or financial aid for education, talk to experts who can guide you explicitly.