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Six Signs of a Scam

1.  "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
No one can guarantee students that they'll receive scholarship money. Always look for strings attached. Numerous organizations define the word "receive" ambiguously - students will receive information about scholarships, not the scholarships themselves.

2.  "We will need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
Never give out an account number without getting all the information in writing first.

3.  "You can't get this information anywhere else."
There are several free search services on the Internet where students can enter information about themselves and instantly see a list of valid scholarships for which they may qualify.

4.  "This scholarship will cost some money."
Legitimate scholarships are free to apply for and free to receive. Scams typically charge for the application or use deceptive language such as "reserve your scholarship with your credit card number". Legitimate scholarships never need to charge money!

5.  "We'll do all the work for you."
There are thousands of legitimate scholarship opportunities out there. However these award donors often require substantial materials from their applicants - essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. For these applications, you can't hire a company to do the work for you.

6.  "You've been selected" by a "national foundation" to receive a scholarship or "You're a finalist" in a contest you've never entered.
Before sending anything, call directory assistance to see if the company has a listing. Find out how the company acquired your information and then be on guard for hidden fees.

If you suspect that a scholarship offer may be a scam, report it to:

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