Scholarship Scams

Don't get "scammed" on your way to college!

Six signs that a scholarship search may be a scholarship scam:

1. "This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back." No one can guarantee they will get you a scholarship. Refund guarantees often have conditions or strings attached. Get refund policies in writing—before you pay.

2. "You can't get this information anywhere else." There are many free lists of scholarships available. Check with your school or library before you decide to pay for someone to do the work for you.

3. "May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?" Do not give out your credit card or bank account number on the phone without getting information in writing first. It may be a set-up to bill your account. Why would they need the number if it isn't going to be billed?

4. "We'll do all the work." Don't be fooled. There's no way around it— you must apply for scholarships or grants yourself.

5. "The scholarship will cost some money." Don't pay anyone who claims to be "holding" a scholarship or grant for you. Free money shouldn't cost a thing.

6. "You've been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship"  -or- "You're a finalist" in a contest you never entered. Before you send money to apply for a scholarship, check it out. Make sure the foundation or program is legitimate.

To find out how to spot, stop, and report a scholarship scam, contact:

Federal Trade Commission PO Box 996 Washington DC 20580 or visit the web site at or call the National Fraud Information Center at 1-800-876-7060.