How to Spot Scholarship Scams

9931701 s How to Spot Scholarship ScamsCommon Scholarship Scams to Avoid

“You’re an instant winner! Claim your free $50,000 scholarship right now!*

*Disclaimer: We will need a copy of your social security card, birth certificate, bank account records (with numbers), and your soul to process payment.

It’s easy to fall for a scholarship scam when you’re desperate for money to pay for college. Most of them aren’t as obvious as the example above, but they include the same warning signs you need to look for. Take off the rose-colored glasses and put on your skeptical spectacles. You’ll soon be able to see what sorts of scholarships you need to avoid. Here are five ways to spot scholarship scams before signing your life away.

Give Money to Get Money

No legitimate scholarship offer is going to ask you to put forth money in exchange for money. If you have to pay a “processing fee” or an “acceptance fee,” you’re going to get scammed. Those people will take your money or your credit card information and go to town at your expense. You should be particularly careful about scholarship offers you never even applied for, as those are usually the ones that just pulled your information out of a database. Think logically before giving out any payment information.

Send Part of Your Money Back

Another scam that is becoming popular nowadays is the “We’ll send you a check and you’ll send part of it back” offer. In this case, a supposed scholarship committee will issue a check directly to you, requesting that you send part of it back to them to cover some sort of expense. All these people want to do is get the money and stick you with the bounced check fees from your bank. You’re the one taking on all the risk at this point. The vast majority of scholarship committees will send the money directly to your college, so try to stick with those.

Transfer Money to Your Credit Card

Have you ever been asked for your credit card information, even if it had nothing to do with the scholarship? That my friend is a scam. Some companies claim that they will deposit money onto your credit card, rather than sending you a check in the mail. The offer seems tempting, but it’s just a way for them to get your card information. The same theory goes for scholarship committees who ask for your PayPal information. Don’t give out this kind of information when it just doesn’t fit the opportunity.

Do Nothing to Get a Full Ride

If a scholarship seems like it is blatantly too easy to win, chances are it is. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find genuine no essay scholarships in the world. There are plenty of them out there. The catch is that those awards are $500 – $2,000, not $50,000. You can apply for easy scholarships all you want, but make sure the award values match the amount of work you put into them. You’ll be able to tell if things don’t add up.

Click 20 Links to Make $20,000

Perhaps the most frustrating scholarship scam of all is the one that makes you click on the links to a million different websites before you can get to (or complete) your application. A lot of sites make money from affiliate marketing, so every click you give them is just more money in their pockets. At the end of the huge journey, you find out that the scholarship is no longer available or “Unfortunately, you weren’t selected as an instant winner.” This is all a waste of time.

Be cautious the next time you want to apply for scholarships. You should keep your options open, but don’t get gypped in the process. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stay far, far, far away from it.


Scholarship Fails

Scholarship fails? Why so negative?

We often write about how to succeed in applying for a scholarship and give you great tips on how to write the best scholarship application essays, but what about scholarship fails? They deserve some attention too, because we learn from our mistakes and we can learn from others’ mistakes as well. So what went wrong and caused a student not to get a scholarship he or she applied for and was really hoping to get? What do you need to do to prevent scholarship fails?

scholarshipfail Scholarship Fails


As we live in an age of lists, here is a list of 10 things that went wrong and caused the scholarship fail:

1. You don’t qualify for the scholarship

Every scholarship has very specific requirements. There is no use applying if you don’t meet the requirements, because you are up against a ton of students who do. For instance:  don’t bother applying if they require a straight-A student and you generally get C’s. Or of a scholarship is for women and you re a guy. Or if the scholarship is for post-grad students and you’re studying a diploma. There are many more examples of course. It’s just not going to happen, and you’ll be wasting your time.

2. You forgot to research all the options

It takes time to prepare a good scholarship application, and the first step is research. You need to know all the options available to you and get as much information as you can on what each scholarship is looking for.

Almost every university and college has some kind of scholarship or bursary system – usually based on merit and always very competitive.

3. You only applied for one or two scholarships

That’s just never enough! When it comes down to scholarship applications, it’s the more, the merrier. That gives you more chance of success. Applying to only a very few definitely belongs on the list of scholarship fails. We know it takes up a buck load of your free time, but if you want the money, you need to do the work.

4. You left it until the last minute

Oooo, big mistake! After doing your research, you need time to get organized. Find some appropriate referees and let them know what you need them to do and say. Arrange for the required documentation such as transcripts – they may need to be certified. There’s no point in sending off the application unless it is complete, so don’t run the risk of forgetting something important.

5. You missed the deadline

You’ll be surprised to hear how much this actually happens. Every scholarship has a different deadline, so don’t assume they all fit to the same intake schedule. Once that deadline passes, that’s it. All your hard work was for nothing. And if you do submit it late, it doesn’t reflect well on your organizational abilities, so you’re still don’t have a chance to win.

6. You didn’t answer the question

Not reading the questions well and writing about whatever you please is among the biggest of scholarship fails.  The scholarship committee has designed the questions to find out whether you have the abilities they are seeking. If you fail to follow the specific directions or answer the questions fully, the committee assume you have just submitted the same copied and pasted application to every scholarship. Straight to the bin, I’m afraid.

7. You fell for a scholarship scam

That sounds awful doesn’t it? You didn’t win the scholarship because it never actually existed. Beware of online sites offering ‘guaranteed’ scholarships for a small fee, or agencies that want your bank information or money in advance. You should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship. So don’t do it.

8. You lost your audience on the first page

Don’t turn your application into a big snooze fest. If you’re applying for a post-graduate or research grant, don’t assume your reader will understand every technical detail of your planned PhD. Avoid the jargon and acronyms – unless you’re willing to explain them. Ask yourself, would my mum understand it? And if you’re not sure, get her to read it first.

9. You forgot to check your grammar

Your application can be the best story ever, but if it’s full of mistake it reflects really bad on you as a student. Some committee will put your application on the reject pile if it has just one spelling mistake. It needs to be perfect, and it demonstrates your language ability too.

10. You didn’t get it proof-read

Ask a grammar crazy friend or family member (preferably both) to check it over for spelling mistakes, structure and whether the questions are answered. It’s also good to show it to your referees, as they’ll then know what abilities to emphasize if they are asked for a referral.

With this list of scholarship fails, you should be well prepared not avoid all of them and write a good, clear, comprehensive winning scholarship. And of course there is always more to read about scholarship fails and how to make sure you don’t make any.

Lots of good luck to you!

scholarship search Scholarship Fails






How to Recognize Scholarship Scams

Scholarships were created to help ease some burden for students in college or planning to enroll in college.  Attending college can be costly and students are seeking ways to lessen their bills.  With so many scholarships being offered to students today, there are still those scholarships that students need to watch out for.  Scholarship scams are out there to get personal information and even collect money from the students.

Fraudulent scholarship providers provide fake websites to draw students to apply for their scholarship.  They look for ways to make their scholarship look so good that it is hard to believe or simply too easy to apply to, and in return get many students to apply to get the information they need.  Scholarships that seem to be too divine just might not be as good as they seem.  Scholarships were created to help students get free money and not to get money from the students.  If a scholarship requires students to pay a fee upfront, it is a scam.  There are also other unnecessary fees that students are asked to pay, however when it comes to scholarships, students should not be paying anything.  Scammers often promise to refund the money, but that is never the case.

These type of scams usually guarantee students that they will win the scholarship.  Since nothing is guaranteed nowadays, neither can scholarships be.  Almost all legitimate scholarships have a list of previous winners, while scholarship scams do not or they either have testimonials that are way out of the ordinary.  How about those pop-up ads that say “You were selected as the winner of our $5,000 scholarship.”  They will ask the students to pay a processing fee in order to acquire that money.  Students will eventually realize that they never applied for that “scholarship” and that the scammers are just after their possessions.

When it comes to scholarship scams, the worst thing that can happen is that they get access to student’s personal information.  When applications ask for a social security number, it is a good sign that they are a scam and that they are after information that scholarship providers do not need.  Students should not give such information under any circumstances, as well as their credit card or financial account information.  Once scammers get the information they need they will get access to everything that they own and more.

Unfortunately, students that apply to such scholarships will never be entered into a drawing nor get to see the money that they were guaranteed to get.  These type of scams are happening daily and it is costing people a lot of money.  Most importantly, students need to take extra precautions when applying for scholarships.  There are many ways to find legitimate scholarships online.  Most of the scholarship search engines offer legitimate scholarships and in return give students access to getting free money towards their higher education.


Protect Yourself from Financial Aid Scams

Don’t worry about being scammed while applying for legitimate scholarship. Following tips will help to protect yourself. Everyone knows the importance of education but funding to attend the college can be tricky among the highest cost of living. Don’t be under any circumstances because there are many legitimate ways that provide you funds for your education. You can find thousands of free financial aid program and apply for them according to your requirements and qualification.

Of course, there are plenty of scam scholarship websites. Don’t be afraid while searching and use your awareness to avoid these scams. Some signs guide you that the prospective financial aid site is reputed or scam. If they are charging any fee or asking for money for the submission of the application then stop because organization awarded money for a charity purpose not for a business. You are not required to pay even a single penny against the financial aid application.

Guarantees is not true in a real life and there is no exception of this rule for a scholarship. If anyone claims that they will provide you guaranteed financial support then be suspicious and avoid to apply over there. You may hear the word “free seminars” for providing information about scholarship. They proclaimed that you cannot get information for free and they will provide you free of cost. Wrong, you can get detailed information anywhere without paying the cost .
Finding information through the internet is a great idea. The internet can connect you with the professional people who can answer your all questions about the scholarship. Don’t underestimate your college financial aid office in this way, you can find useful information about scholarship programs with the help of a college counselor. Remember, you should not have to pay charges to find the information because plenty of free resources are available over internet.
Stay away, if any consultant, organization, or individual offers that they will fill scholarship application and writing an essay for you. No one can achieve without a little elbow grease for a walk. Do you receive any message about “ you have been selected for final interview”. It sounds good but ignore the message. Always do your own search to complete procedure for scholarship.