The letter above is a scam, says CollegeMadeSimple.com
So how do you know what is and what isn’t?
The site gives 5 tips. Here’s a quick rundown, but read the article for full details.
- Never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship. The same is true of loans that ask for a fee up front. And legitimate application or processing fees are usually deducted right out of your disbursement check. True loan and scholarship resources will never ask for money up front.
- Beware of how much personal information you provide on a scholarship application. No legitimate scholarship application requires a check, credit card or banking information. If you’re asked to provide more than your standard contact information and some form of proof that you fit their eligibility criteria, chances are you’re being scammed.
- There’s no such thing as a guaranteed scholarship. All scholarships have an eligibility requirement and most of them are extremely competitive. Nobody gets a scholarship for his or her bright and toothy smile. Often times you’re asked to pay a fee for some outfit to send you a report of so-called “guaranteed” scholarship opportunities that your child either isn’t qualified for or that don’t exist outright. And good luck getting a refund. Chances are you’ll never hear from those folks again.
- Scholarships will never come looking for you. So when you get that letter in the mail or that phone call or that email telling you that you’ve been “selected” or that you’ve won a prize, beware. If you don’t recall applying, then you’re being scammed.
- “You can’t get this information anywhere else.” Scholarships are not a secret. No legitimate scholarship sponsor will align itself with any one scholarship matching service. If it’s out there, your high school guidance counselor or a reputable college advisory firm can find it just as easily as anyone else.