10 College Scholarship Scams
There are plenty of Scholarships for seniors out there, however, for every legitimate opportunity, there is bound to be a nasty college scholarship scam right next to it.
1. You Won Something You Didn’t Apply For
“Congratulations! You’ve won a $50,000 College Scholarship! Click Here to Claim Your Prize!”
If you think it sounds too good to be true- guess what, if it! Don’t be tempted to click, it is extremely unlikely that someone is waiting to give away free money without trying to steal information from you or sell you something.
2. They ask for a Fee
If a College scholarship organization asks you to pay a fee upon application, chance are your money will simply disappear. Not to mention, if a company is collecting $10 applicant fee’s and the prize is only $1000… Chances are they are pocketing a large amount of profit from unsuspecting college hopefuls.
Scholarships for Seniors- $10000 College Scholarships given monthly- Legitimate opportunities, No FEES, No Credit Card Details Necessary
3. You Need to Buy Something to Be Considered
If you need to purchase a product to be considered, chances are (like companies asking for admin fees upon application) That this company is selling large amounts product, and only giving back a measly % of the profit, once again- the High School Senior gets duped again.
4. You Need to Attend a Seminar to Be Considered
When families are unable to send their Children to College, they are openly susceptible to College Scholarship scams. If you are asked to attend a seminar, chances are the company is offering a scholarship to one of the high school senior attendees, however, you will have to sit through a very high pressure sales pitch, trying to get families to take out expensive college consulting services or even high interest loans.
5. The Application Asks for Bank Account Information
“We require your bank information so that we can deposit your award in your account.”
STOP- This is the sign of a major College Scholarship Scam, don’t do it! If the company is legitimate- they will pay your via check or the college directly. If you do provide your banks details, chances are you see money missing rather than deposited!
6. The Scholarship is “Guaranteed”
When looking for Scholarships for seniors, you will discover it is extremely competitive- many students apply, and only a few will receive scholarships. If a company promised you a scholarship- or claims at least half of the applicants will receive an award, this is another College Scholarship Scam- very few companies could afford such an outlay of money, chance are you once again will get scammed.
7. You cannot trace the company offering the award
There are many small organisations that offer scholarships, however, just a little research will reveal whether the company is legitimate or not. Does the company have a traceable business address? Phone/fax and website? Are they easy to contact? If you can’t access any of this information, be very wary.
8. The Organization Wants Your Credit Card Information
If the scholarship application asks you to enter your credit card information, don’t be silly, close the webpage and get on with your life. If they want these details, chances are they have sinister plans for them.
9. “We’ll Do All the Work”
If a scholarship application states that you don’t need to do anything other than your email address, chances are they will abuse your personal information. This is another red flag identified by the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (see their page on scholarship scams).
10. “You Can’t Get This Information Anywhere Else”
This is another red flag identified by the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Most companies offer scholarships so that they can be seen to be assisting the community- they are not going to hide the fact they are doing this! If the information about the scholarship is not easily accessible, chances are they are trying to get you to sell you something. .
Places to Find Legitimate Scholarships for Seniors
Doing a random web search for scholarships runs the danger of turning up scams. To be safe, focus on one of the big reputable companies that provides free scholarship matching services for students. Here are some good places to start:
- CollegeBoard.org: The maker of the SAT and Advanced Placement exams also brings you “Scholarship Search,” a database representing $3 billion in scholarship funds.
- Scholarship Zone: Has an easy to follow interface, you only have to enter a few details along the way and they match you up with opportunities based on your location and interests.
- Cappex.com: One of my favourites, Cappex has a spam-free interface, and you’ll find private scholarships, college-specific merit scholarships, and college-matching services all in one place. The listings at Cappex represent $11 billion in available money. The merit aid information is the best out there.
- FastWeb: FastWeb has been a long-time leader in scholarship search. In 2001 the company was sold to Monster Worldwide, the parent company of job search giant Monster.com. In recent years, the site seems to have more ads and fewer scholarships than in its glory days.
Looking for Scholarships for seniors can be challenging, however if you are diligent, resourceful and watchful of these above scams, you are sure to find some amazing opportunities. Scholarships can be your key to a college education.