Various student financial aid programs are available to help students to meet their financial needs in achieving their education goal. Unfortunately not all of these financial aid programs are legitimate; some of them are scams which introduced with the purpose of cheating money from the students instead of helping them. Here are some practical tips you can use to protect yourself from those scholarship scams.
1. Check out the scholarship backgroun
Is the grant you plan to apply offered for the first time? If yes, you should be caution about the offer, try to get the details about the organization that the offers the grant. You can check with the business bureau to find out whether the company is a legitimate registered company, and whether it is an established company which has been in the business for years. If you are unable to find the company listed in business bureau, it more likely to be a fraud.
If the scholarship has been offered for many years, it’s more likely that your school has heard about it, or you have friends who have applied it before, try to get as much information as you can from those you know who had applied and successful secured the grant before. If a scholarship opened for application in the past few years but you are unable to find information on the success student list that are being offered with the scholarship, better be alert on the potential fraud. A scholarship may be offered every year, but it may not give out even one to a student if it is a scam.
2. Be cautions if involve fees
You may see before such advertisement that offers you very attractive scholarship package but when you ask for their application form, you are requested to pay a fee. Be caution! Legitimate organizations do not solicit fees from students for an application form. Some scholarship applications do involve processing fee when you submit your application, but there are still many scholarships are free to apply. It’s better to conduct a background check on the organization before applying for the scholarship that involves fee.
3. Ask the company where they got your information
Are you receiving various kinds of scholarship offers right to you mail box? As you can remember, you have not applied those grants before. Scams use scripts to dig information from you and they are trying their best to get your interested to their offers. Their scholarship packages are very attractive so that you will be interested with the free money and move your step into their trap. You better be the one who ask questions and find out where they got your contact information. Do not give your personal information such as social security number. Anything look too good may have hidden agenda, you better be caution.
4. Request a printed copy of scholarship policy
If you are really interested with the scholarship, then it’s best that you review the terms and conditions in print before you sign to accept the offer. Keep these documents as the future support evidence if the scholarship turns out to be a scam and you want to make complaints about i
The bottom line is if you feel uncomfortable about any scholarship offered to you, then it better not to accept it or seeks for more advices from schools student affairs office before you finalize your decision to accept the offer. Be smart to protect yourself from any scholarship scams who are trying their best to get you into their trap.