Scholarship Scams – Be Careful!

February 14, 2024

A scam is when someone deceives “customers” to take something from them, usually money. There are scammers out there that want to make money from you! These tips will help you keep your money in your pocket.

There are many scholarship search agencies. Some are free, while others charge hundreds of dollars. Some provide good information; others do not. Many search companies will not refund your fee if you are dissatisfied with their services. Be sure to check out refund policies before you pay any enrollment fees.

Signs of a scholarship scam:

  • You have to pay money before or after you receive money.
  • The matching service guarantees success.
  • Financial aid “seminars” turn out to be sales pitches.
  • You are a “finalist” in a contest you never entered or are “selected” by a national foundation for a scholarship you did not apply for.
  • The scholarship offer requires you to give a credit card or bank account number.
  • The “scholarships” are actually loans.

A small number of legitimate scholarships do charge a small processing fee. Check with your high school guidance counselor or financial aid office if you are unsure about a scholarship.

Learn more at:
Federal Trade Commission:

You can report scams to the National Fraud Information Center at:

Source: Excerpted from Oregon Career Information System, ©2023, University of Oregon, All Rights Reserved.

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