How to Avoid Scholarship Scams

How to Avoid Scholarship Scams

For many students whose families are living on a tight budget, availing of scholarships is the only choice they have to be able to afford college education. In fact, scholarships have become somewhat of a necessity today given the steady rise of college costs when coupled with the constantly increasing prices of basic needs that families have to cope with.

Unfortunately, scholarship fraudsters take advantage of students’ need for college scholarships. We have all heard of cases when students’ hopes of acquiring affordable college education go down the drain because of scholarship scams. There are already numerous cases that illustrate how fraudsters have gotten away with students’ much needed money.

Fraudsters are able to deprive students of what could have been a way out of expensive education. The scholarship offers turn out to be empty and non-existent guarantees. As such, students must always be on guard when it comes to choosing scholarships, especially when the scholarships seem to be way too easy to apply for. There are several signs which can indicate scholarship scams, which a student should keep in mind in selecting scholarship offers. Briefly, there are three general rules that students should remember in comparing real scholarships versus fake scholarships.

Real scholarships do not require fees.

Legitimate scholarship offers do not need payment from their applicants. Obviously, institutions and organizations that offer authentic scholarships do not need money from the students. Authentic scholarship offers have the capacity to operate without getting money from the applicants because they assume that interested students are not well-off and will not be able to pay for fees.

Considering that most authentic scholarships offer full coverage of tuition fees, it would be strange for these institutions and organizations to ask money from underprivileged students whom these scholarship funds are intended for.

On the contrary, fraudsters often ask for all sorts of fees imaginable. The most popular scam is the requirement of application fees, which entail that aspiring applicants should first pay up in order for their application papers to be processed. Other fraudsters ask students to pay a percentage of the tuition to the institution offering scholarships, and promise reimbursement after a short period. However, the money is never returned.

Real scholarships are difficult to apply for.

Considering the large amount of money that real scholarships are willing to provide for the students, it is logical to come to the conclusion that authentic foundations would want to make sure that they select only the most deserving students. Legitimate scholarship foundations often demand that the applicants should be able to present academic excellence and leadership skills, as well as other special abilities and talents. In general, real scholarships look for well-rounded students who are engaged in both academic and extracurricular activities. If the academic standing is not a standard, some scholarships demand special skills like talent in sports or in music, among other fields.

Unlike real scholarships, fake scholarships demand very little from their applicants when it comes to academic excellence or talent. In fact, fake scholarships only need students who have a strong desire for college education. Often, fraudsters target students who are desperate to get a bargain, and they take advantage of this eagerness in order to gain profit.

Real scholarships are, as already implied, realistic.

Real scholarships are realistic in the sense that they never promise immediate acceptance. As already mentioned, legitimate scholarships look for deserving students and often give conditions for their help that are non-monetary in nature. For instance, some foundations require that students work for them as interns in order to continually get assistance.

On the contrary, fake scholarships often offer sensational benefits. On the top of the list is the guarantee that all interested students will be accepted immediately. Fraudsters usually give off a long list of benefits. In most cases, scholarship scams can sound like advertisement for products, they build up their offers like sensational bargains that students should instantly buy.