5 New College Scholarship Frauds To Look Out For

With so many families looking for scholarship money to offset today’s huge tuition bills, it’s more important than ever to know the facts…

You see, the number of scholarship scams and frauds are ever-increasing, and the tactics used to separate families from their money have taken on new levels of deception.

Knowing what to look for and how to avoid these scams can be your greatest protection.

In fact, we’ve discovered some new tactics to look out for – so we’re sharing them in today’s report.

– Scott

Is the scholarship company making “too good to be true” claims?

Some scholarships go as far as to claim they’re sponsored by the Better Business Bureau, government agencies, or specific colleges or universities.

In fact, we’ve seen many fraudulent scholarship companies use names designed to trick families into believing they’re federal agencies and organizations. (A common tactic is using a Washington, D.C. address to “appear” official and gain peoples’ trust.)

Use great caution here, because no government agency endorses or sponsors any private organization.

In short, the bigger the claim, the faster you should turn away.

But if you do think the scholarship is legitimate, by all means investigate their claims.

How long has the company been around? Does the company have proof of past winners it will share with you?

Most scholarships have been around for some time, and if they’re legitimate – they’ll answer your questions and provide records assuring their legitimacy.

(Note – not all “new” scholarships are frauds, but you should always ask new companies for references, and get as much factual information up front as possible.)

“Unclaimed Scholarship Money”

This tactic involves the scam artist marketing some huge amount of money – often in the millions or billions – that went “unclaimed” the previous year.

Do not fall for this! Truth is, there’s not a single legitimate scholarship search that has ever published a list of unclaimed scholarships.

Bogus application fees

Some companies will ask for “application” or “processing” fees, often citing very convincing reasons for doing so.

The reality is, true loan and scholarship resources will never ask for money up front.

Bottom line: You should never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship.

“First Come, First Served”

This approach baits families into believing they’ll increase their chances of scholarship money if they’re among the “first in.”

This couldn’t be any further from reality. Most times, it’s a trick designed to get people to act quickly and impulsively.

Legitimate scholarships simply don’t give preferential treatment on a first-come, first-served basis.

The bottom line is, if it smells like a scam, there’s a reason. Never be afraid to ask questions, get claims in writing, and do your research.

A little extra diligence and some common sense can go a long way to protecting your money.

To your college funding success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC
Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.