Avoiding
Scholarship Scams

According to FinAid.org, hundreds of thousands of students and parents are cheated by scholarship scams each year. These victims lose more than $100 million annually.

Scammers try to disguise themselves as legitimate government agencies, nonprofit organizations, education lenders, and scholarship matching services. They could have even gotten your name from an honest business or agency, but they're still scammers. Their names may include official-sounding words, such as "National," "Federal," or "Foundation."

Here are a few ideas to avoid being tricked by these scams:
  • Never pay money to get money.
  • Do your own research to land a scholarship; scammers promise to save you time by exploring scholarships for you. The only thing they really want to explore is your wallet.
  • If you have questions about searching for scholarships, ask your high school counselor or someone in a college's financial aid office. They want to you get an education and not be "taken" by scammers.
  • Never pay for information about a scholarship.
  • Know that there are no "guaranteed" scholarships.
  • Legitimate scholarship foundations don't charge application fees.