Be Aware of What’s Out There
College tuitions continue to rise as time passes, throwing students into avid spirals of loan debt and utter desperation. Pressure from finances continues to rise as the student tries to afford rent, bills, various fees, and college tuition. Life, to the average college student, seems hopeless. Hopelessness creates a certain type of vulnerability that scammers are bound to find almost solely at their disposal.
Fortunately for those college students who will find this before they are scammed, there are some ways in which you can avoid getting scammed by scholarship scammers. For those that have already been duped, perhaps this will provide a guide to help you chose scholarships more carefully in the near future.
Identifying Red Flags And Saying “SCAM!”
The first thing to look for is a fee. Scholarship programs generally won’t charge you a fee to get into their application listings. They want to give you money. They don’t want to make you spend money they know you already don’t have. Those programs out there that are charging its applicants to award just one or two participants are there to make profit rather than reward you. In fact, getting accepted as a scholarship “winner” should be considered much like going to the casino to make your tuition. You’re putting in money, but the chance that you’ll make much, if anything, back is very slim.
Also be on the look-out for “no-strings-attached” or unrealistically low interest rates on grants and loans. These programs will likely also require a fee in advance, promising you mountains of rewards in return. Don’t be scammed!! This is usually a scam as well. Alongside these are those super easy, unrealistic scholarship matching sites that will offer to match you to all kinds of scholarships in return for a monthly or yearly subscription of $10+. You are more than capable to match yourself to scholarships, with your own University’s resources. Don’t allow these people to take advantage of you.
If you really need help from outside your University, be on the lookout for searching and matching scholarship sites that are 100% free and comprehensive to use. This way, large application fees or scholarship matching subscriptions can ultimately be avoided and save you money in the long run.
There’s No Such Thing As “Too-Good-To-Be-True” For The College Student
Getting through college takes a lot of time and hard work, so unrealistic and overwhelmingly easy models offering incredible opportunities for very little effort can sound extraordinary. Their model will include offering you a position at a coveted scholarship seminar–allowing only “certain applicants” to attend–, sending you a check with a short note of congratulations, or using a messaging platform to continuously keep you amped up and full of adrenaline at the thought of this great opportunity.
What the student should remember, however, is that scholarship programs generally thoroughly review applicants to determine who should be accepted and provided with their funds. They’re not usually in the practice of just randomly throwing money out to random participants. Think about the casino example mentioned earlier. This is almost the same thing. While you may see a larger chance of pay-out, in the end your putting a lot of energy into randomization with no guarantee for success.
If you’re interested in doing something like this, some of them can be legitimate. However, you should be extraordinarily cautious as the student. Remember that one click on the web these days can provide scammers with all sorts of personal information that you might not have otherwise provided. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Search the web, find reviews, etc. Scams are usually reported by various agencies across the interwebs.
Social Media Routes Are A NO-GO
This is relatively short, as I understand that most reading this are students and just want to start applying for their scholarships already. This section is also almost self-explanatory. Essentially, if someone friends you on a social media platform and wants to slide you into a loophole they found out about in some scholarship program they work for….say NO! This individual wants to split the cash, first off, which should make this a no-brainer. Scholarships don’t often split cash.
Plus, you’re a college student. You need all the money you can get. Certainly, you don’t want to split money for you’re cash for your tuition.
NOW! Get out there and start applying for legitimate scholarships to help you get through college.
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