Scholarship scams are, unfortunately, extremely common. Don’t allow yourself to be duped by a scholarship scam artist; you’ll end up spending valuable time and unnecessary amounts of money for absolutely nothing. These scams are fairly easy to avoid as long as you recognize the warning signs which you’ll find in large clusters whenever you happen upon a scholarship scam.
Things to Look-Out For
A Large Processing Fee and a Small AwardOr a processing fee of any size coupled with a small award, really. When you see this, most likely, the scholarship provider is offering the award solely for the purpose of collecting the processing fee. Chances are that most scholarships with a fee attached won’t pay up in the end, even if they have received enough income from the supposed "processing fee" to cover the cost of the award.
Scholarship Databases That Charge You to RegisterScholarship information is and has always been public information. Stick to the reputable, free scholarship search services like Scholarships.com. Typically, scholarship search services that charge a fee claim to have awards in their database that you can’t get access to anywhere else. This is simply not true. Scholarship providers want you to learn about their scholarship and, as such, they make it as easy as possible to find thier scholarship information by listing their scholarship with a reputable, free college scholarship search engine like Scholarships.com.
An Announcement That You Have Won an Award for Which You Have Not AppliedEven in the 21st century this still isn’t possible so don’t be fooled. You always have to apply for scholarships in order to receive them. If you receive an e-mail that says you have won a scholarship from an organization that you have never heard of, let alone applied to, ignore it. Such e-mails could easily be an internet phishing scam or some other type of ruse.
Companies Claiming to Do All of the Work for YouYou and only you can apply for scholarships. If a company requests compensation to apply for scholarships for you, don’t buy it. Scholarship offers typically request a fair amount of personal information, writing samples and require a considerable amount of work that no one other that you can do.