As a student, you will find that there are countless organizations and individuals who are willing to work hard to help you pay for school; but unfortunately, there are a few out there who will take advantage of you through scholarship scams. When it comes to searching for scholarships and applying for financial aid and colleges, you have to know a scam from a legitimate resource. Safe-guard yourself and your finances by becoming aware of scams that commonly target students. Use the following tips to learn how to spot scholarship scams:Legitimate scholarship providers don’t want – or need – your money. They want to help students attend school, not profit off of you! If a scholarship is asking any sort of fee to apply, then it’s likely not a legitimate opportunity. Similarly, other scholarship red flags to beware of when it comes to scholarship offers are: • Guarantees – Honest scholarship providers will never guarantee a scholarship – as good as it may sound, that’s not how it works.• Unsolicited offers – Scholarships are not just given to random students who haven’t applied and put forth effort into getting a scholarship. • Inquiry of private bank and/or social security information – While scholarship applications may require a degree of personal information, they will never ask for your social security number or bank account information. If they do, it’s likely not a valid opportunity and you should never oblige. • No contact information – Real scholarship providers have people you can contact in order to ask questions. If you cannot find any contact information, it should raise a red flag.• Where are the winners? – Genuine scholarships have been awarded to previous applicants. If it’s legitimate, where are the past recipients? • Act NOW! – While scholarships do have deadlines, legitimate providers will never give you “now or never” ultimatums. NOTE: As a leading scholarship database, Fastweb screens all of the scholarships available on the site and does not charge anything for its services.
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