Rules of Thumb:
- If you must pay money to get money, it might be a scam.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Spend the time, not the money.
- Never invest more than a postage stamp to get information about scholarships.
- Nobody can guarantee that you'll win a scholarship.
- Legitimate scholarship foundations do not charge application fees.
- If you're suspicious of an offer, it's usually with good reason.
The FTC cautions students to watch for tell tale lines:
- "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
- "You can't get this information anywhere else."
- "I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
- "We'll do all the work."
- "The scholarship will cost some money."
- "You've been selected by a 'national foundation' to receive a scholarship" or "You're a finalist" in a contest you never entered.
- Office of Inspector General: Scholarship Scams
- Looking for Student Aid
- Common Scholarship Scams
More Information about Scholarship Scams:
Where to Report a Scam:
- Office of Inspector General Fraud Hotline
- FTC Consumer Complaint Form
- U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service –Mail Fraud Complaint Form
- National Fraud Information Center – Online Incident Report Form
- State Attorney General Offices: http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/attyoffices.phtml