Be on the lookout for mail or on-line solicitations from organizations with official-sounding names that can help you attain valuable scholarships – for a fee.
Many of these companies are not legitimate and others provide little more than the free help available on the Internet or through your guidance counselor. The U.S. Government FTC (Federal Trade Commissions) web site contains an article (FTC article about Scholarship Scams ) with advice for spotting these phony operations.
The word “Guaranteed” is an automatic red flag. No college scholarships are guaranteed. And you don’t just “win a scholarship” – you have to apply for it first. If you didn’t apply, you didn’t win!
The FTC cautions students and parents to look for these reg flag lines:
“The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
“You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
“I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”
“We’ll do all the work.”
“The scholarship will cost some money.”
“You’ve been selected by a ‘national foundation’ to receive a scholarship” or “You’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered.
Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of InLikeMe.com and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.