Scholarships provide a multitude of benefits. From the obvious financial benefit of lessening your financial burden of availing hefty educational loans, it also gives you an obvious advantage when it comes to your career application. While there are many lures to having a scholarship, you should also be wary of fraudulent organizations that give out scholarship scams just for their greedy profit. This is why when looking for a scholarship grant, be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of a scholarship scam. Let’s take a look at ways to avoid getting scammed when looking for scholarship opportunities.
Tips to avoid getting scammed:
- Legitimate-check your scholarship grants
Remember that scholarship grants are always given out by the institution themselves. Rarely do they use third parties to hand out scholarship grants. One simple way to check if your scholarship grant is legitimate is to check the address. If it is from a respectable institution, then you can assume that it is legitimate. But if it comes from a shady third-party address, that is a pretty good indicator that it might just be a scam.
Legitimate scholarships also have a stringent application process which includes the following:
- Educational documents such as an educational transcript, SAT scores, and recommendation letters;
- GPA requirements;
- The frequency of grants is given once or twice a year
- Identify Red Flags
Unlike legitimate scholarships, fraudulent scholarships are super quick and easy to fill out with little to no requirements. Here are the tell-tale signs of scholarship scams.
- Very short essays of 100 characters or less;
- Fancy drawing words that would lure potential applicants such as: “sweepstakes, enter to win, or random selection”;
- No requirements to enter;
- Asks for financial information like credit card details and bank account information;
- The application process includes posting or advertising in your social media accounts;
- Hefty application fees;
- Open to everyone;
- No proof of previous applicants;
- The brief application process of 5 minutes or less;
- Scholarship grants are awarded frequently – weekly or monthly
- Falling for the Scam
With the easy application process and minimal to no requirements, it is easy to see why students would want to have these fraudulent scholarships. If you fall for these scholarship scams, you would expect that you will be included in e-mail scams that would bombard your inbox with nonsense promotional items. Aside from these, since you have filled out forms with your basic personal information such as name, age, gender, birth date, and address, your privacy may be compromised because these third-party organizations may sell this private information to other organizations who have malicious intent for these private data.
- How to get out of a Scholarship Scam
If you have fallen victim to these malicious scholarship scams, here are some of the ways to get out of it:
- Any credit card, ATM, or bank with funds that you have filled out would need to be frozen or deactivated. Work with your bank to have these accounts deactivated ASAP;
- Report the scam to the proper authorities so that these fraudulent organizations can be investigated and eventually stopped.
Hopefully, the tips above can help you in accurately identify scholarship scams and prevent you from falling into a trap with one. Quality education should be accessible to anyone, which is why Prance Gold Holdings, Inc. strives to let deserving students build their dreams by providing legitimate scholarships across the world.