Scholarship Programs

Written by Tara Peris
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There are a number of things that every family can and should do to avoid scholarship scams. Although numerous legitimate funding sources exist, each year, thousands of families fall victim to the false promises of fraudulent programs. Do your homework and you will save yourself time, money, and considerable heartache as you plan for college.

Every year, millions of students struggle to find a way to pay for college. This can be an incredibly stress-inducing experience for even the most accomplished student. Scammers know this and they take advantage of the anxiety and desperation that come from trying to finance a college education.

Protecting Yourself

Fraud comes in all forms these days and unfortunately, that means that you have to approach every scholarship program with a bit of skepticism. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some programs zap you with application fees for programs that don't exist, while others ask you to pay a redemption fee for an award you've supposedly already won. Steer clear of these guys, as they will only waste your time and money.

Other scams include agencies that guarantee they can find you a scholarship. Remember that there are never any guarantees when applying for scholarship programs. They are, by definition, highly competitive and some degree of luck is always involved. Shady help agencies may take your money and run or they may give you a list of programs for which you have little chance of qualifying. If you use a search company for assistance, be sure to do your homework and verify their standing via the Better Business Bureau and customer references.

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