Home > Financial Aid > College Scholarships > Scholarship Information > Protect Yourself From Scholarship Scams

Protect Yourself From Scholarship Scams

Unfortunately, many scholarship scams look and sound like legitimate scholarship opportunities at first. Individuals and organizations suspected of perpetuating scholarship scams are held accountable under the Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 and convictions carry stiff financial penalties as well as jail time.

Even though scholarship scams are illegal, they are still very common. Scholarship scams are so widespread that the Federal trade Commission's website includes a page dedicated specifically to how to spot and report them www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams.

To protect yourself, it is important to know how legitimate scholarship programs work. You will never have to pay a fee to apply for a legitimate scholarship, nor will a legitimate scholarship program request money to cover processing. There are no circumstances under which a scholarship provider will need your credit card or bank account information. Legitimate scholarship search services help you find scholarships for which you are eligible but they cannot take care of completing applications for you.

Warning Signs of Scholarship Scams

  • The organization guarantees you will win an award as a result of paying a fee
  • The organization sounds like a non-profit but has no traceable history
  • The organization claims it will “handle all your scholarship applications” for you
  • The organization requests banking or credit card information to “process your application”
  • The organization requires an entrance fee

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Coronavirus News Update for Students, Families, Colleges

March 31, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

From student loans to college athletics, Scholarships.com is keeping you updated on all of the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on high school and higher education. If you're tired of reading about COVID-19, take a break by checking out your latest scholarship matches and earning money for college here. [...]

Coronavirus Impact on SAT, ACT, and AP Testing

March 26, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

As a high school student in the midst of the standardized testing season and living through the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering what the future holds for standardized test scores, AP courses, and the college admissions process. A recent survey conducted by The College Board revealed than 91 percent of 18,000 polled enrollees still want to take their AP tests. In fact, in 900 pages of comments responding to the AP survey, AP students "begged to be allowed at least one championship bout with an AP test." [...]

Coronavirus Stimulus Package: Higher Ed Edition

March 24, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Negotiations and proposals for an economic stimulus package are being mulled over by lawmakers, ones that will ultimately affect school and education funding. Currently, student-loan borrowers are able enter forbearance on their student loans for 60 days without accruing interest. The U.S. Department of Education will also suspend student loan payments by borrowers who are over 31 days delinquent. The White House has already announced that it will waive the interest on federal student loan payments. Here are some of the recent developments in proposed relief for students, colleges and universities as part of the COVID-19 stimulus plan: [...]