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How to Avoid Financial Aid Scams?

Financial Scam

How to Avoid Financial Aid Scams?

We would all like to think that we are smart enough not to be sucked in by scam artists. The fact is that they are out there, and many people are victims of financial aid scams each year. Knowing how to identify a financial aid scam is the best way to avoid them. If you suspect a financial aid scam or have been a victim of a scam, report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at or call 1-877-FTC HELP (1-877-382-4357).


If you have to pay a fee to apply for a scholarship, red lights should be flashing. Applying for a legitimate scholarship should not cost you a dime. Never give out your credit card or bank account information to any such service.


A company that “guarantees” that a scholarship will be awarded is probably out to get you. This kind of statement usually goes hand-in-hand with those scholarship applications that require a fee. This is the same concept as paying to play a carnival game where everyone is guaranteed to be a winner.

Selected to Receive a Scholarship

Some scams include a letter informing students that they’ve been selected to receive a special scholarship or award. If you did not enter a contest or apply for a scholarship, chances are that this is a scam.


If you receive a letter asking you to attend a seminar that will teach you how to obtain guaranteed scholarship money, be skeptical. Never pay to attend one of these seminars, and think twice before buying whatever service they’re selling, whether it’s a special list of never-seen-before scholarships or the promise that they will do all the work for you by filling out all the applications. You should be able to find many free lists of scholarships on the internet, and remember that everything requires a little effort. If you want a scholarship, you’re going to have to do a little work for it.